The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Guam, a territory of the United States, ranks fifth for chlamydia. In 2017, 700 cases per 100,000 people were reported to have had the disease. The U.S. has seen a rise in the number of syphilis and gonorrhea cases as well, affecting youth and young adults ages 15 to 24-years-old.
Mangilao Public Health CDC investigator Marie Perez said the agency is trying to raise awareness, but the statistics are disturbing. She said the high numbers of chlamydia are troubling but a sign that increased awareness and education is a necessity for the little island. It’s also important to stop the stigma that’s attached to the illnesses. She said Guam might actually be doing a great job in monitoring the diseases.
Perez said it’s possible to live with an STD, but further health problems could occur such as blindness and infertility. She encourages people to get tested for STDs at their local Public Health clinic.
Written by Mark Riegel, MD
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