Sexually transmitted disease rates continue to rise in Washington state


Rising rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in Washington are prompting health officials at the Washington State Department of Health to urge sexually active people to get tested and treated for STDs. The agency released 2017 data that show record rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.

Data show sexually transmitted disease rates are higher among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. Health officials urge these individuals to talk to their medical provider about testing for syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and HIV at least once a year.

Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD; the rates are highest in 20- to 24-year-old women.

Untreated STDs can cause serious problems. Pregnant women experience some of the worst outcomes from untreated STDs. Congenital syphilis is a growing problem in Washington. From 2016 to 2017, there were as many cases of congenital syphilis as in the previous 10 years combined.

Consistent and correct condom use is still the best way to prevent STDs. The Department of Health is working with local public health agencies and community partners to enhance their capacity to investigate and reduce the spread of STDs. Early detection and treatment can interrupt the steady climb of STD rates.

National STD data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be found in the 2016 Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report.

In Washington, federal and state funds provide $3.2 million per year for STD prevention, monitoring and control from 2017 to 2019.

7 Replies to “Sexually transmitted disease rates continue to rise in Washington state”

  1. Consistent and correct condom use is still the best way to prevent STDs? Um, no. Our values are so eroded that this is what it has come to. This makes me so sad. As a society, it’s time to re-evaluate relationships, and the important place that physical intimacy holds in our lives. STD’s are rampant because we now live in a society where anything goes. We, as a society are in deep need of a cultural paradigm shift, when it comes to sex, and when it is, and is not appropriate.


    1. You make some very good points, but we need ideas how to do this. Good, solid families, and good solid family values (ie: valuing family!) are key – but how do we get there? I’d argue that an economic climate where both parties have to work might be part of the problem. Another might be the proliferation of “distractions” which contribute to a situation where doing things together has been eroded by such things as video games, TV, etc. (Mom and Dad used to read to me, and when I was old enough, I read to them.) In my field, we used to see large numbers of families participating with their kids; now it seems to be mostly adults. How to combat at this? (I don’t know the solution, but one thing we did was actively involve parents in all aspects of our sport).

      Drugs contribute. The “war on drugs” has not changed this. I suspect stronger and more loving and active families might.

      Among the LBGT population, I believe that years of being told being gay or lesbian is awful, being barred from proms, from marriage, from the military, being beaten up – all the lies and hysteria and prejudice – has meant that very many LGBT kids were (and are) denied the normal rites of courtship and dating and all the ways their heterosexual contemporaries learn how to form meaningful and stable relationships. This will change with time; all the LGBT people I know are in very stable marriages – a greater proportion, in fact, than among my straight friends!

      Along with all this, sex education has been in many cases hijacked by abstinence programs that ignore condoms, or denied altogether; and most sex education completely ignores the LGBT kids and their needs and issues. And we have stopped reminding kids that if you are going to have sex, make it SAFE! The problem is less in Scandinavia, where sex education is much more open.

      Like most problems we face in a changing world, there needs to be an array of “answers” and a great deal more listening – and stronger families. Let’s talk about HOW we do this!


      1. Don’t know about all that. Historically, gay men have many more partners, some reporting 100’s, and the other guy cant get pregnant, so they let it ride. STD’s are way up in senior citizen centers too, for both the same reasons. Not all things are civil rights dilemmas, Nathaniel. Maret correctly points out it’s a values-education issue. STD’s, including new drug resistant ones, are up. Birthrates are very down. The US will see the same generational and family dilemmas as what manifested in Japan. The traditional family unit is 2000-and-late.


  2. Not enough people are swiping left. Not enough people from the gay community are settling down and forming family units. I fought for gay marriage in WA, and would like to see them use it more often. Straight couples who can’t have kids more often adopt. The gay community needs to find a partner and stick with them (generally speaking). There would be no orphans.

    Global Warming is a fake global crisis. Free HIV meds to Africa meant, for a while, getting infected werent as big of a deal, so they went right back to… um… ya know. Its a promiscuous disease. There are new drug resistant STD’s making there way here. Our centrally planned health industry is creating antibiotic immune superbugs in the same way. This is a life-as-we-know-it ending danger. But yeah, CO2 (aka plant food) is a priority? :/


    1. The article informs us Chlamydia is now the most commonly reported STD. The disease mostly spread between heterosexual men and women. Yet somehow, Matt Richardson concludes that promiscuous gay men are responsible.

      Dehumanizing gay men as walking petrii dishes that spread disease, is an all-too-familiar, malicious smear. Pointing a finger at gay men does nothing to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Haven’t we had enough of that hateful nonsense?


      1. Maybe I’m gay. Nothing I’ve said here isn’t anything responsible gay men haven’t said too.
        Data don’t care about your feelings. ^^^”Data show sexually transmitted disease rates are higher among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.” Philadelphia is one of my favorite movies. Not talking bout this like adults is how these things get stigmatized and how things get worse. I love hearing about all of Nathaniel’s friends who are in stable monogamous relationships (who likely don’t have HIV), but we’re talking about those who aren’t in stable relationships. We’re talking about moral decay. I also mentioned how the disease is on a tear in Africa, where being gay is illegal. I also pointed out communicable rates in elderly homes, but maybe it’s the little pills at fault? You’ve simply read my comments through a lens. Be objective, the ignore button is below.


  3. I forgot to mention that of the six gay couples I know well, 2 have been together for more than 45 years, one into their twenties, and two are too young to have totted up that long, but going strong. Chris and I were at nine and a half until he was killed in a traffic accident.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *