STDs | KCUR

STDs

GARDEN CITY — As a nurse, Betsy Rodriquez interviews teenagers who are sexually active and often shockingly ignorant about sex.

Bruce Stidham / Kaiser Health News

When Karolyn Schrage first heard about the “dominoes gang” in the health clinic she runs in Joplin, Mo., she assumed it had to do with pizza.

Turns out it was a group of men in their 60s and 70s who held a standing game night — which included sex with one another. They showed up at her clinic infected with syphilis.

Bigstock

Reported syphilis cases in Kansas City jumped by 71 percent last year and included nine cases of congenital syphilis in which the mother passed the disease on to her newborn child.

The spike has set off alarm bells at the Kansas City Health Department, which could see cuts in or reallocations of health levy funds that support the city's safety net system in next year’s municipal budget.

cancer.gov / wikipedia--CC

Reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases in Kansas City, Missouri, rose last year, in some cases dramatically, in part due to increased testing and outreach by health authorities.

Preliminary data from the Kansas City Health Department shows a nearly 27 percent increase in reported cases of gonorrhea, 8 percent in chlamydia and 7.6 percent in syphilis.

The figures reflect national trends, with reported STDs reaching an unprecedented high in the United States in 2015.