Cases of sexually transmitted diseases are increasing at what officials are calling an alarming rate. Chlamydia infections in South Dakota have doubled since the late 1990’s, and gonorrhea is twice as common now as it was five years ago. State Epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says that there are a few main factors that may be causing this increase.
“It’s a troubling trend and what may be causing it is probably the obvious, not enough abstinence, not enough monogamy and not enough condom use. But then we have the added factor of more and more people are using internet hook-ups as indicators to find a partner, says Kightlinger. You can find a partner and you don’t even know there name, you don’t know their history and you don’t know their disease status.”
Kightlinger says what we’re doing now is we’re going back to the levels of STD’s that we had in the 80’s because once AIDS hit, people became more aware, they practiced safe sex and were more selective. He says people are getting complacent and not taking care of themselves as they should.