Sexually transmitted infections are on the rise among Queenslanders, according to Queensland Health figures. Apparently, the number of STI cases has risen up to 10 percent higher in 2016 than the previous year.

Eighty-two percent of cases of sexually transmitted infections, which were mostly recorded in areas in Brisbane’s Metro North and Metro South,  is Chlamydia. Researchers were also surprised by the rise in gonorrhea cases, which increased by 32 percent last year or from 3,038 in 2015 to 4,006 in 2016.

Most of the infections occurred among people between the ages of 15 and 30 years. Researchers observe that gay men who reside in urban areas and Indigenous people who reside in rural places have higher risk of contracting STIs. Sexual health expert Wendell Rosevear blames the culture of dating for this statistics. Rosevear says that those patients with STIs tend to have unprotected sex with four up to 10 sexual partners daily.

Rosevear adds that many patients were naïve however, he says that there are also some doctors that do not provide sufficient treatment. The expert points out that many doctors are not aware that they should test, screen or treat STIs.

Darren Russell, the director of Cairns Sexual Health Service, hopes that more data on the patients’ ages, ethnicities, genders and sexuality could help experts understand more about the reason behind this. Russell also said that STIs do not produce symptoms sometimes and could be dangerous if patients do not seek medical help.

Russell stated that testing for STIs is simple. It only involves analyzing urine samples as well as blood samples. To solve the increase of STI cases, the Queensland Government allocated more than $18 million in funds to develop sexual health management techniques that will help prevent the further rise of STIs. The strategy would include increasing community awareness,, focusing on disease prevention, supporting older Queenslanders, education for young people, providing better care to patients and supporting specific community groups.