Sexual Health news - Sexual Health and Behavior

STD rates in South Dakota on the rise

According to NewsCenter1, STDs have become an increasingly tenuous public health problem in South Dakota. To put this in perspective, incidences of chlamydia have doubled since the late 1990s, there has been a marked increase in gonorrhea cases and 17 new cases of syphilis were noted in 2012. In 2011, there were no syphilis cases reported in the state, according to the source.

Karen Pettigrew with the Community Health Center South Dakota believes that using proper protection, abstaining from sexual activity or remaining in a monogomous relationship are all significant methods of reducing an individual's chance of contracting an STD.

"If they have not been using condoms all the time, if they don't have one steady sexual partner, then the risk is there," Pettigrew told the news outlet. "If you can contract chlamydia, then you can contract HIV."

According to The Star Herald, in addition to an influx of new people to the South Dakota population, many healthcare experts believe that there is an increasingly relaxed attitude around STDs. For instance, many of these diseases were curtailed in the 1980s during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, but with improved treatment methods and retroviral medications, many individuals are taking a less cautious approach to their sexual health.

Ultimately, it will come down to public awareness campaigns, access to condoms and contraceptives and discretion on the part of sexually active individuals to help reduce the STD rate throughout South Dakota. Adjusting to these new realities will be difficult, but there are plenty of resources available throughout the state for those who wish to stay ahead of their sexual health needs.