Connecticut has been named one of the states with the lowest rates of sexually transmitted infections—just in time for Valentine’s Day.
According to a survey and data compilation by the public database Backgroundchecks.Org, Connecticut currently ranks 42nd for the highest number of sexually transmitted diseases. The data is based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, public agency data and surveys conducted through social media, according to the website.
This is in spite of the current rise in STD infections, according to the CDC. Since 2015, diseases such as syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea have risen as much as 19 percent, according to CDC data. Budget cuts to STD prevention centers statewide have contributed to this recent increase, per the CDC. STDs cost the US healthcare system nearly $16 billion each year.
Another potential cause of the recent rise can be pinned on dating and hookup apps, such as Tinder and Grindr, according to a recent New York Times report.
While Connecticut has remained low on the list of STD rates, the statewide trends have been reflecting national trends. While the number of gonorrhea diagnoses in Connecticut has fallen by 64 percent between 1992 and 2014, the number of chlamydia diagnoses has risen by nearly 40 percent in the same interval, according to the Connecticut State Department of Public Health.
In 2014 Hartford reported the highest number of chlamydia diagnoses of any city in Connecticut, with over 1,300 cases reported.
However, despite these grim statistics, students at the University of Connecticut can avoid becoming infected with resources from Wellness and Prevention Services and Student Health Services.
Student Health Services offers testing by appointment for herpes, chlamydia, HIV and other STDs at the Student Health Services building, according to the SHS website. Condoms, lube and other supplies are available for free to students at both the SHS building and the Office of Wellness and Prevention in Wilson Hall.
Using condoms, diaphragms and dental dams during sexual intercourse help protect several STDs, according to the SHS website. Furthermore, limiting the number of sexual partners and using open communication can also help prevent infection.
Marlese Lessing is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She tweets @marlese_lessing.