Rates of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Concerning in Polk County

DES MOINES, Iowa –The number of sexually transmitted disease cases is on the rise in Polk County and officials say that is concerning.

More than 1,000 cases of STDs have been reported in 2018 so far, including 15 cases of HIV.

Polk County Health Department Public Information Officer Nola Aigner said the numbers are concerning because rates are consistently going up. She said that is partly because people are getting tested more often and they doing a better job contacting partners.

Aigner said a big concern is gonorrhea. It is becoming antibiotic resistant. “Now there is only one to cure it and it’s showing resistance. So, if we cannot find a new antibiotic to cure gonorrhea, this one may be one that’s no longer curable and that poses a lot of health effects.”

Gonorrhea can lead to infertility in men and women and pelvic inflammatory disease in women.

STDs can have serious health consequences and can be prevented by using a condom. Aigner added STDs are treatable with early diagnosis and treatment.

You can find more information on testing and treatment on the Polk County Health Department’s website.