Health experts alarmed by jump in STDs in Idaho

POCATELLO, Idaho  — A jump in reports of sexually transmitted diseases in Idaho has health experts worried.

The Idaho State Journal reports that last year there were nearly 6,600 STD cases, including HIV, up from fewer than 6,300 in 2016. Cases are also up nationally, with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcing last week that nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were diagnosed in the United States in 2017.

Kimberly Matulonis-Edgar of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says experts in the state and across the country are struggling to understand what's driving the increase.

The most prevalent STDs reported nationally and in Idaho are gonorrhea and chlamydia.

State health officials say that the rate of reported gonorrhea cases in Southeast Idaho fell about 14 percent from a year ago, but jumped more than 200 percent in south-central Idaho.