Nationally, sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) are on the rise at an alarming rate. There are approximately 1.4 million reported cases of chlamydia which is the highest number of annual cases of any condition ever reported to the CDC. Gonorrhea and syphilis are also increasing and the same trend is happening in Gallatin County. (For more information go to, http://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/hivstd/stdprevention.aspx.)
Social media and online hookup apps have been partially blamed because of high risk behaviors like casual and anonymous sexual encounters.
If you are sexually active, talk to your healthcare provider about STD testing. Women younger than 25 who have new or multiple sex partners should request annual chlamydia and gonorrhea tests. Pregnant women should also request syphilis, HIV and hepatitis B.
Gay and men who have sex with men should be tested for syphilis, Chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV at least once per year and more frequently if you are highly active.
To protect yourself from STD’s:
- Stay on top of testing and follow prescribed treatments
- Use condoms
- Limit your number of sexual partners
Screening can be done by your local healthcare provider as well as:
Bridger Care (Sliding scale available)
For more information call Gallatin County Health Department at 406.582.3100, or go to www.healthygallatin.org