PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island health officials say cases of sexually transmitted disease in the state are at a 10-year high.

State Department of Health data released to The Providence Journal show chlamydia cases have risen 55 percent from 2007, gonorrhea cases are up 78 percent and syphilis cases have more than tripled.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday released numbers showing record increases in infections from the diseases. The CDC said Rhode Island ranked 12th highest in the nation for the rate of syphilis, with 8.5 cases per 100,000 population. It ranked 27th for cases of chlamydia, with 467.3 cases per 100,000 population and 44th for the rate of gonorrhea cases, with 67.8 cases per 100,000.

Rhode Island health officials say they’re not sure why there has been such an increase. They say it could be due to better testing or more people getting tested after getting insurance since health care reform.

Dr. Philip Chan, director of the STD clinic at The Miriam Hospital, says it could be a combination of factors, including risky sexual behavior and more people meeting sexual partners online.

The state health department has issued an advisory recommending more screening of certain patients at increased risk.


Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com