KERN COUNTY, Calif. — The Kern County Public Health Department sent out statistics for last year's sexually transmitted diseases in the county.
The county has seen a 27 percent increase in chlamydia cases since 2010, ranking Kern County the third-worst in the state. Gonorrhea rates increased by 28 percent, ranking fourth-worst in California.
And primary and secondary syphilis cases also saw an increase, as well as congenital syphilis which was ranked second-worst in the state, with a 494 percent increase.
For the fifth consecutive year, combined cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis have risen in the United States, according to a Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published on Tuesday.
An increase in sexually transmitted diseases in Hawaii to the highest numbers reported in decades can be linked to the prevalence of online dating, officials said.
More connections with many more people are made rapidly through online dating services, officials said.
“As people rely on digital means of making connections, it can lead to circumstances where they might be more exposed to infection without them knowing it,” said Gerald Hasty, program coordinator for the state harm reduction branch. “More partners, more chances to get infections.”
There has also been decreasing reliance on condoms or prophylactics for protection against acquiring or spreading STDs, officials said.