Gonorrhea and chlamydial infection are unquestionably prevalent throughout the country; but when it comes to these particular STDs, Alaska residents seem to have it the worst. According to a recent press release issued by the state’s Department of Health and Social Services, Alaska has the highest rate of chlamydia and the second highest rate of gonorrhea in the country. Last year, over 6,000 chlamydia and 1,270 gonorrhea cases were reported, which point to a 13% increase of chlamydia rates and a 23% jump in gonorrhea rates.
Clearly, these numbers demonstrate the need for increased chlamydia testing and gonorrhea testing in Alaska. Both diseases are completely curable, but only chlamydia and gonorrhea testing can accurately point to infection. Once a positive diagnosis is confirmed, antibiotics can be given to eliminate either disease.
The problem with chlamydia and gonorrhea is that both diseases fail to display symptoms in the majority of cases. This is why gonorrhea and chlamydia testing are so important: Without undergoing chlamydia and gonorrhea testing, those infected won’t know to get treated, and they won’t know to abstain from sexual activity to avoid passing either disease onto their partners. Furthermore, both infections are dangerous STDs in women, because left untreated, they can lead to infertility and chronic pelvic pain.
In its effort to ramp up chlamydia testing, gonorrhea testing, and STD testing on a whole, Alaskan state officials are encouraging residents to participate in the MTV-sponsored Get Yourself Tested (GYT) campaign. Another resource for Alaskans is the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s "I Know Mine" campaign, which promotes gonorrhea and chlamydia testing as well.
Today, chlamydia testing and gonorrhea testing can be performed via basic, non-invasive urine screens. All sexually active people would be wise to undergo gonorrhea testing and chlamydia testing—because while infection rates in Alaska may be alarmingly high, the rest of the country is by no means out the woods.