April is STD awareness month, and Judy Nielsen with the Montana Department of Health and Human Services says the number of STD cases in Montana is rising.

“We want them to be aware of the increased amount of STD’s which by the way is not unlike the rest of the nation except that our rates are better than the rest of the nation but still increasing,” said Nielsen.

Of particular concern to Nielsen is the rapid growth of gonorrhea, an STD which has doubled in number every year for the past three years.

“Well in 2015, 845 people were reported to the state as having gonorrhea,” Nielsen said. "Chlamydia was over 4,000, but gonorrhea is our big focus because of its sharp rise and continuing trend.”

Another STD of concern for Montana is Syphilis. For the past ten years, the number of syphilis cases ranged between 0 and 8, but Nielsen says that number jumped to 14 cases of primary or secondary syphilis last year.

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