Despite all those messages about “safe sex” — the number of cases of sexually-transmitted diseases in Iowa hasn’t dropped much over the past decade.There was a two percent increase in cases of gonorrhea in Iowa last year. John Katz of the Iowa Department of Public Health says there was a “substantial” outbreak in the Cedar Rapids area, while the number of gonorrhea cases in other urban areas declined.Katz says there 1,424 reported cases of gonorrhea in Iowa last year. An outbreak isn’t that uncommon, according to Katz.There were over 57-hundred cases of chlamydia reported in Iowa in 2001, a four-and-a-half percent decline from the previous year, but John Katz of the Iowa Department of Public Health says it’s not a significant change. He says the state has hovered at about the same level for the last decade.Chlamydia is a dangerous disease for women as it can cause problems with pregnancy that can be life threatening. Katz says treatment’s fairly simple once chlamydia’s detected. He says the big problem is that most individuals don’t have any symptoms. Katz says syphilis has pretty much disappeared from the Iowa landscape. In 2001, there were just 11 cases reported, down from 19 the year before.
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