Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise throughout the United States. In its most recent report, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported the highest-ever number of STIs in America.
The Milwaukee-area has seen an especially significant rise of STIs over the past few years, including 29 percent increase in syphilis infections, and a 13 percent increase in HIV.
"The Milwaukee-area is ranked first in the nation for gonorrhea, and fourth in the nation for chlamydia, and it has some of the worst rates of HIV for men of color under the age of 25. So those are not good numbers. That’s something that we should all be concerned about," says Mary Spicuzza, a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has been covering stories on the issue.
A change made by Milwaukee’s Health Department earlier this week threatened the availability of STI testing and healthcare for low-income residents. The policy change has since been reversed, after receiving intense criticism from doctors, nurses and other health professionals.