Wisconsin seeing rise in STD cases

2021 shows increased number of STDs
2021 shows increased number of STDs(wsaw)
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 10:30 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The CDC is reporting an increase in sexually transmitted diseases in 2021 with 2.5 million reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.

According to the CDC, the number of syphilis cases reported is the highest in three decades.

Wisconsin is also seeing more cases, with a 6-point-6 percent rise overall.

“We are watching those trends, so we like to get out the message: get tested,” said Communicable Disease Manager for the Marathon County Health Department Becky Mroczenski.

Health care providers are required to report numbers of STD cases to the state, and labs that process home tests do the same.

“Chlamydia is by far the most reported STD,” Mroczenski said.

Percentage-wise, syphilis saw the biggest jump in Wisconsin, jumping 99% over 2020.

“I know there has been a marked increase in syphilis but also what they call congenital syphilis, so from mother to baby,” Mroczenski said.

Most outbreaks are seen in larger metropolitan areas right now. Mroczenski says she hopes education and testing can keep northcentral Wisconsin from seeing the same kind of jump.

“Things like chlamydia and gonorrhea have remained in Marathon County pretty steady, or a slight decrease,” Mroczenski said.

This year, monkeypox is also on the radar of health care workers. It’s not an STD, but can be transmitted in the same ways.

“With monkeypox it’s like some other things that are just spread with close skin-to-skin contact,” Mroczenski said.

Mroczenski says STD testing should be part of a yearly healthcare routine or in case of any symptoms, and there are options for those who may not like to bring it up with a primary care physician.

Becky Mroczenski “Sometimes you not only know your physician as your provider, you know them in the community. So sometimes it’s just not something you want to share with that person,” Mroczenski said.

Correction: In a previous version of this article, Becky Mroczenski was incorrectly identified as the Communicable Disease Manager for North Central Healthcare Center.