With all the education about the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, it is disturbing that the Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting that Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) have reached an all time high in the state.
The age range most affected is age 15 through 24, with many of those in the latter part of this range being well-educated professionals.
According to IDPH, the 2007 statistics show:
* There were 8,643 reported Chlamydia cases -- a 67 percent increase in reported cases over the last 10 years, 74 percent of these were in Iowans aged 15 to 24.
* There were 1,928 reported Gonorrhea cases -- a 19 percent increase in reported cases over the last 10 years, 60 percent of these were in Iowans aged 15 to 24.
The statistics show only part of the problem since symptoms may not develop for years although damage is being done to the body. Even more disturbing, HIV and herpes are not reportable diseases in Iowa. We can only assume that these incurable STDs have shown an increase similar to Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.
It appears that even more public education on the dangers of STDs and on prevention is needed. At the very least, teens and young adults need to be made aware that the dangers are increasing.