Guam is 5th highest in the nation for STDs

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Guam – The Department of Public Health and Social Services says a recent Center for Disease Control puts Guam as the fifth highest in the nation for Chlamydia rates with 663 reported cases per 100,000 people last year.

The agency also reports that case rates for gonorrhea and syphilis have also increased in the last few years, a trend officials call “worrisome.”

Today on Mornings with Patti on News Talk K57, OB/GYN Dr. Thomas Shieh attributed rising chlamydia rates to partners not getting tested.

“Syphilis is something else but you know the key with all these STDs is if you pick it up you treat it but you have to treat the partners even with chlamydia, gonorrhea. These are all co-infections. They key here is to get it treated. What happens is a lot of the moms are compliant. They get treated but the problem is the partners. Partners don’t get treated or they don’t complete treatment then they re-infect the mom again,” explains Dr. Shieh.

In order to address the rise of STDs on Guam, the Department of Public Health and Social Services Acting Director Leo Casil says it’s crucial to mobilize partnerships and resources among the private, public and military health sectors, including an interdisciplinary approach to reach teens, young adults and pregnant women.

Casil also notes that the reported rates of these diseases do not include individuals who are unaware of their STD status.

To find out about free testing services available, call Public Health’s STD/HIV hotline at 735-AIDS.