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STDs a growing problem in Vermont - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

STDs a growing problem in Vermont

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Sexually transmitted infections are on the rise in Vermont-- that's according to the health department.

Daniel Daltry is the STD program chief for the Vermont Department of Health. He says the sharpest rises health professionals are seeing right now are in chlamydia, as well as infectious diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea. Daltry says they are higher than they have ever been before. Since 1998, chlamydia has increased by nearly 300 percent. Since 2009, gonorrhea has jumped by 400 percent.

There is some good news. Health professionals say testing is improving all the time. There are now less invasive tests, so individuals can actually simply urinate into a cup and find out their status. And in some cases, people can do their own test and find out on their own terms what their health status is.

"One of the encouraging things about STIs is the sooner that you know that you have some of them, the easier they are to treat and to also ameliorate the impacts that would happen to the individual, as well as individuals in the community that might be sexually active or intimate with those individuals," Daltry said.

The group at greatest risk are those 24 and younger.

Any individual who has been sexually active who hasn't been tested before entering a relationship, especially if they go-- what Daltry likes to call "barrier-free"-- should be tested. Routine testing is the only way to stem the tide on this issue.

Watch the video for the complete interview with Daniel Daltry.

Resources:

More on STDs -- http://healthvermont.gov/prevent/std/std_info.aspx

Vermont Department of Health hotline at 1-800-882-AIDS

Testing sites -- healthvermont.gov/prevent/std/std_test.aspx

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