Local STD cases decreased in 2015

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 22, 2016

STD cases in Covington County decreased from 2014 to 2015, according to data from the department of public health.

Chlamydia is the most widespread of three STDs, which also includes gonorrhea and syphilis, data from the health department shows.

In 2015, there were 138 reported cases of chlamydia, which was down from 156 cases in 2014.

The largest age group for chlamydia was 20-24 for both years.

In 2015, there were 59 reported cases in that age bracket and 64 reported cases the year before.

Chlamydia is a common STD that can infect both men and women. It can cause serious, permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system, making it difficult or impossible for her to get pregnant later on, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

How is it spread?

The CDC says that one can get chlamydia by having vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has the STD.

Chlamydia is curable with the correct treatment.

However, repeat infections are common.

The number of gonorrhea cases decreased as well.

There were 14 cases reported last year and 25 the year before.

The largest caseload was for ages 15-19, with 11 in 2014 and nine in 2015.

The CDC reports that both men and women can get the STD and it causes infections in the genitals, rectum and throat, and is very common in people ages 15-24.

Gonorrhea is treatable with medication from a doctor that is taken properly.

The CDC reports that it is becoming more difficult to treat some strains of gonorrhea.

Syphilis reports were down from three in 2014 to one in 2013. Those were reported in the 35 and over crowd.

The county’s syphilis cases are a contrast to the state’s.

The number of cases of primary and secondary increased from 162 cases in 2014 to 277 cases in 2015.

Nationwide, syphilis has been on the rise for years, but Alabama caught up to the pack in 2015.

Anthony Merriweather, director of the sexually transmitted diseases division of ADPH, told the Press-Register that the group with the highest risk for syphilis is men who have sex with men.

Locals who need to get tested can visit the county health department for free STD testing and many offer free condoms.