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STIs increased in 2021, possibly because of less testing during the first year of the pandemic

A series of colorful pamphlets on reproductive health in clear holders.
Kamila Kudelska
Wyoming Public Radio
Pamphlets on the wall of the waiting room of the North West Health Care Center.

The Wyoming Department of Health is concerned that sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are increasing.

Comparing 2021 cases with those of 2020, there was a 23.6 percent increase in chlamydia cases, a 33.5 percent increase in gonorrhea cases and a 35.5 percent increase in syphilis cases.

Kim Deti, Wyoming Department of Health’s spokeswoman, said that increase could be related to the pandemic.

“There may have been less testing. People may not have been pursuing the testing in the same way,” she said. “We're not sure about behaviors during that time as well.”

No matter the reason, Deti said it's still important to be aware of preventive strategies like using a condom and talking to partners about their sexual history. People can be infected but have no sympotoms. If left untreated, the infections can cause some long term damage.

“We say frequently the only way to know for sure that you don't have one of those viruses or infections is to get tested. So it's a good idea for many people to get tested regularly,” Deti said.

Education and testing resources are available online.

Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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