Health officials are extremely concerned over the higher rates of gonorrhea in Oregon and Washington. It has been reported that the number of cases of gonorrhea increased by 18.5% between 2012 and 2013 in Oregon. That is a drastic change for the state. In one county alone, the number of cases went from 2 to 23.
Similarly, cases are up 75% in a single county in Washington. Health officials there are working diligently to try to contain the spread by locating the previous partners of these cases, but the task is sometimes daunting. In some cases, the people being treated are not willing to disclose the names of their partners, and in other cases those people just can’t be found. Either way, this puts many more people in danger of exposure.
Luckily, there is a way to help stop the spread of this potentially harmful disease. There are three things that you can do to help contain this outbreak, and stop it from spreading to other parts of the country as well. You can start by always practicing safe sex habits. We all know that condoms significantly lower your chances of contracting an STD. By using them every time you have sexual intercourse, you will be much more likely to stay healthy.
Whether or not you use condoms, get tested regularly. We provide fast and easy testing options that are pain free, so there is no excuse not to get tested. By knowing if you have contracted an STD, you can get treatment that will both make you healthier and ensure you will not spread it to other people. Knowing is the first step in both treatment and prevention, so make sure to test regularly if you are sexually active.
If you get your results and they are positive, please seek treatment. There is treatment for all of the STDs, and some of them are even curable when discovered early enough. It is extremely important to get treated immediately if you have discovered positive test results. Contacting your previous partners to inform them of the situation and risk of exposure will help from unknowingly spreading the disease to their new partners as well. It may be a difficult conversation, but it benefits everyone in the long run.
More than anything, being informed means having control over your health. It is your personal responsibility to be aware and help stop the spread of STDs. Getting tested is so easy, and it helps prevent outbreaks like the ones present in Oregon and Washington. It all starts with you.