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Health officials: STD cases increasing in Arizona

PHOENIX — Reported cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea in Arizona have steadily increased over the years.

According to data provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services, “the number of chlamydia cases reported in 2011 increased by 2,390 cases over the number of cases reported in 2010, an 8.9 percent increase.

Cases of chlamydia among young people ages have exploded. In 2011, cases from this age group comprise 68 percent of all chlamydia cases in Arizona. In 2011, the female chlamydia case rate was 2.6 times that of males.”

Health officials also noted a marked increase in the number of confirmed cases of gonorrhea.

“There were 4,564 cases of gonorrhea reported in Arizona in 2011, with a corresponding case rate of 71.4 per 100,000 people. This is an increase of 1,315 cases (40 percent) over 2010 case reports. In 2011, the rate also increased by 40 percent over the 2010 rate.”

Carla Chee with the Arizona Department of Health Services stressed the need for active adults to be tested even if they are asymptomatic.

“People may continue to infect partners unknowingly,” she said.

Not knowing and subsequently not being treated by medical experts for STDs could result in long-term consequences.

“Gonorrhea and chlamydia could lead to infertility,” said Chee.