Aberdeen News (South Dakota) (12.11.12)
According to the South Dakota Department of Health, chlamydia cases in Brown County have been climbing in step with the rest of the state. Brown County’s numbers—655 cases of chlamydia from 2006 through 2011—account for 3.7 percent of the state’s chlamydia cases. Lon Kightlinger, state epidemiologist, declared that chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD throughout South Dakota and the United States. Brown County reported the following numbers of chlamydia cases per year: 97 cases reported to date for 2012; 128 in 2011; 159 in 2010; 88 in 2009; 84 in 2008; 85 in 2007; and 111 in 2006. Surrounding counties reported considerably fewer cases of chlamydia since 2006.
Although gonorrhea rates saw a growth in numbers throughout South Dakota in 2012, rates for the region were relatively low. Only 39 cases of gonorrhea have been reported in Brown County since 2006, with Walworth County reporting 23 total cases for the same time period, and other counties reporting seven or fewer. According to health department data, the state as a whole reported 558 cases. There were no cases of syphilis reported in the area, as most of the syphilis cases are near Sioux Falls, according to Kightlinger. South Dakota has reported 17 cases of syphilis since 2006. Brown County reported 12 cases of HIV from 1985 to 2011. South Dakota has a low rate of the HIV virus and is one of the four lowest states for HIV rates in the country, with a rate of 2.9 cases per 100,000 people during the last five years.
Kightlinger warned people all over the state to be cautious and vigilant. Kightlinger cautioned, “The interpretation could be that STDs are common in South Dakota, and there’s no region of the state that does not have STDs.”