Health officers have begun routine STD testing in area hospitals with a person’s consent.
The number of gonorrhea cases has increased by over 17 percent. The number of chlamydia cases has increased 5.5 percent.
Dr. Steven Donohue, Townsville Public Health Unit director, said the rise is seen mostly in young adults and teenagers. He said much of the rise is due to people forgetting to protect themselves by using condoms if they are experimenting with unusual sexual behaviors or they’re sleeping with more than one partner.
He said people are using their cell phones as hook-up devices.
Donohue said Tinder is one of many dating apps allegedly to blame for the rise in STD infections. He said drug and alcohol use are also causing people to engage in spontaneous sexual behaviors.
According to Donohue, people need to practice safe sex by staying in a committed relationship or using condoms with multiple partners. Area hospitals, specialized units and general practitioners are on the lookout for STDs.
He said the number of cases being reported is due to the fact of better testing. Donohue said with more doctors focused on sexually transmitted infections; there are bound to be even more cases discovered.
Written by Mark Riegel, MD
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