CDC reports increased rates of three common STDs in Hawaii and nationally
The Centers for Disease Control ranks Hawaii with the 21st most chlamydia cases, 28th when it comes to syphilis and 42nd involving gonorrhea.
According to the state Department of Health the numbers are cause for concern.
Middling rates of STDs compared to other states doesn't mean we're in the clear.
"There has been an increasing trend in these cases in Hawaii that's been going on for several years," Dr. Gerald L. Hasty of the Department of Health said.
For example, Hawaii's rate of chlamydia per 100,000 people jumped by more than 60 cases from 2017 to 2018.
"Rates in Hawaii used to be far lower compared to some major cities on the mainland now rates in Hawaii are getting closer to what's seen in major urban centers," Dr. Hasty said.
Like the rest of the country rates are rapidly increasing locally.
"The fact of the matter is that case rates in recent years are the highest they've been in decades, and the solution isn't simple," Dr. Hasty said. "It's very difficult for these infections to magically disappear from the community because people can spread them without being aware of it."
However, the Department of Health knows where to start.
"Even if they feel no symptoms they should regularly be checked. If we can have more treatment for infections and more people try to protect themselves from infection," Dr. Hasty said.
The Department of Health is operating on year four of a five-year federal grant helping prepare the state for antibacterial-resistant gonorrhea.
According to the DOH, Hawaii is susceptible because of our geographic location.