Nurse practitioner says venereal disease on the rise at USU

The number of reported cases of some STDs, also known as STIs or venereal diseases, has risen slightly on Utah State’s campus as well as throughout the state and nation.There has been an increase in the number of genital herpes and HPV cases diagnosed at the health center, as well as a small outbreak of gonorrhea that occurred during the Fall semester, said Mary Orians, family nurse practitioner with student health services.According to the Utah Department of Health website, the Bear River Health District, which includes Logan, reported the number of gonorrhea cases increased from three in 2008 to six in 2009. 2009’s number is not as high as 2006’s 10-year record of 26 cases. Also, the number of reported HIV cases increased from one in 2008 to two in 2009. The number of reported AIDS cases increased from zero to one in the same year. The number of chlamydia cases has, however, decreased from 190 cases in 2008 to 176 cases in 2009.Bear River’s figures do not necessarily represent Utah as a whole. The total number of gonorrhea cases in Utah decreased from 477 in 2008 to 341 in 2009. The total number of HIV cases has increased from 106 to 112 and the number of AIDS cases has increased from 66 to 77 reported cases. Cases of Chlamydia, one of the most common STDs among college-age people, have increased from 6,019 in 2008 to 6,152 in 2009.Utah had one of the lowest case rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea in the United States in 2009. Utah’s case rate of chlamydia was 225 cases per 100,000 residents; compared to the low, 159.7, in New Hampshire and a high of 802.7 in Mississippi. Utah’s case rate in gonorrhea was 12.5 cases per 100,000 residents. Compared to the low, 7.2, in Idaho and the high, 246.4, in Mississippi.2010 figures are not yet available.Any increase in the numbers of cases may just be a matter of perception, said Alfredo Novoa, sophomore in psychology and leader of Vox, or Voices for Planned Parenthood, an on-campus advocacy group. He said an increase in the number of cases reported could just mean more people are getting tested.

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