If you are sexually active in Ionia County, the Health Department are asking people to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases since they are on the rise locally and nationally.

According to FOX 17, Ionia County Health Department health officer, Ken Bowen said, "STDs are on the rise nationwide, in Michigan, in Ionia County, pretty much everywhere. The only way to know your status for sure is to get tested."

So far 60 cases of chlamydia, 17 cases of gonorrhea and 10 cases of syphilis have been found in Ionia County this year already.

According to the Centers of Disease control that chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are among the easiest to treat and cure if found early. If not treated early these can lead to chronic pelvic pain, genital warts or even cervical cancer.

Bowen said, "We just want to remind people that they should know their STD status. They should know the STD status of their partners and the only way to know that is to get tested."

If you are looking at getting tested the Ionia County Health Department offer free confidential testing. Many other area health departments offer these same services so to save a drive you may want to reach out to your local health department.

The ages these new STDs that are most affected are from 15 to 24. STDs are on the rise in older groups as well.

Not having sex is the easiest form of prevention but making the practice of using condoms and having sex is very important.

The CDC says that minimizing sexual partners and getting an HPV vaccine before you turn 26 can also be helpful.


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