PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A new study reports that the number of sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. has surged since 2000 — and according to the study’s findings, Oregon is the 14th state in the country with the biggest increase since the turn of the century.
Personal finance and research website ValuePenguin used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to see which states were most affected by the rise in STD rates. There are more than 20 of these diseases, but the researchers tracked the data on chlamydia, gonorrhea and three different forms of syphilis.
Across Oregon, cases of all of the tracked STDS grew by 150% for every 100,000 U.S. residents from 2000 to 2020.
ValuePenguin reported that the state had about 238.4 STD cases per 100,000 residents in 2000, versus 595.5 cases in 2020. This was a 10% decrease from 2019’s numbers.
Just a few spots after Oregon was Washington, which was listed as the 20th state with the biggest growth in STD rates within the two decades. The number of cases increased by 125% from 2000 to 2020 but decreased by 14% from 2019 to 2020.
Though, the CDC says an apparent decline in recorded cases doesn’t necessarily mean there are fewer cases overall.
“Decreases in rates of reported chlamydia in 2020 are unlikely due to a reduction in new infections,” the center said. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, many health care clinics limited in-person visits to patients with symptoms or closed entirely, and it is likely that preventive health care visits where STD screening usually happens, such as annual reproductive health visits for young women, decreased.”
The greatest spike reported was by far for primary and secondary syphilis cases in the U.S., which skyrocketed by 505% from 2000 to 2020.
In that same period, gonorrhea cases had the smallest increase at 61%. And chlamydia rates jumped by 92%, but there was a drop at the beginning of the pandemic.
The study listed North Dakota, Utah and Montana as the states with the largest rise in STD rates from 2000 to 2020. The cases grew by 369%, 291% and 237%, respectively.
The CDC advises people to get tested for STDs regardless of whether they have noticeable symptoms.