UTAH (ABC4) – In their latest update of the Sexual Transmitted Disease (STD) Survelliance Report, the Centers for Deisease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that STDs have been on the rise across the nation since the end of 2020, the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to Innerbody Research, in 2020, per every 100,000 Utah residents 556 were diagnosed with an STD. For comparison, Mississippi had the highest rates of STDs, with 1,784 residents diagnosed for every 100,000, while Vermont saw the lowest rates, with just 334 residents diagnosed for every 100,000. 

Tosin Goje, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist for Cleveland Clinic weighed in on the matter, explaining, “Patients were not going for their regular checkups, patients even when they thought they were exposed did not go for treatment, and many patients had what we call like a community barrier in the sense that some affected people reside in communities with no access to health care and did not seek care outside their community. And imagine a person who is infected who is not going out, not traveling, there is a tendency to re-infect each other, especially in a small community.”

Thankfully, there are many prevention methods for STDs, the most important being education. It’s important that the public is familiar with the signs and symptoms of different STDs so that they know what to look out for. Cleveland Clinic notes that unusual discharge, itchy genitals, bumps, sores, warts, painful urination, and vaginal bleeding unrelated to the menstrual cycle are all reg flags. 

STDs can be tricky to recognize, as symptoms don’t always surface. This makes regular check-ups that much more important. 

Dr. Goje advises seeing a physician if you suspect the presence of an STD, as they can support you in treating the issue and preventing any further spread. 

“If you think you got exposed to a sexually transmitted infection or you have high-risk behavior, or you can’t remember what you did at a recent party, or you had a condom fail you, or you just feel like you’ve just been exposed, then you should request to be tested,” she advised.

According to Dr. Goje, the most common STDs include gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and herpes.