Cases of sexually transmitted diseases are rising in parts of Oklahoma, including Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department reports the highest concentration of reported STDs on the city’s east side.
Cases of chlamydia in Oklahoma County are 70 percent higher than national averages. And officials think those cases are underreported.
Chlamydia can cause big problems for pregnant women and pelvic inflammatory disease without treatment. Symptoms sometimes don’t show up initially.
The highest infections are with people ages 20-24, females and blacks, according to a 2017 report which studied the disease from 2013-2014.
In the 15-24 age group, every STD is more common in Oklahoma County than the national averages and those are the highest averages in the state. The figures could be affected by the fact that chylamydia is discovered when women come in for an annual pap smear test.
Cases of syphilis and gonorrhea are both higher than the national average in Oklahoma County. Black men had the highest rate of new HIV cases in Oklahoma County. The number of STDs among homosexuals is also climbing.
Tulsa, the second largest city in Oklahoma, is second in terms of STDs. Diagnosis is slowed because some diseases take awhile to show symptoms and doctors are reluctant to ask married patients if they might have a social disease.
Chlamydia is the highest reported STD in Oklahoma, with 21,449 cases in 2016. Gonorrhea is second most with 7,574 cases in 2016, according to the state Health Department’s Division of Surveillance and Analysis for STDs.
Primary and secondary syphilis also is on the rise, with 264 cases in 2016 and health officials say that is going to increase. Syphilis is a bacterial infection, if left untreated can cause heart and nerve damage.