HIV, STDs up in Alaska
Alaska has reported rising HIV and sexually transmitted disease rates for 2002, with the state recording the nation's highest rate of chlamydia for the second consecutive year. There were 3,805 new cases of chlamydia in Alaska in 2002, an increase of 40% over 2001 levels. Gonorrhea cases also were up about 40% in 2002. HIV cases increased slightly, according to state health officials. The STD infection rates were the highest among Native Alaskans, who accounted for 55% of the state's gonorrhea cases. State health officials attribute the rising STD infection rates to a combination of wider STD testing, particularly in public health clinics; to more accurate medical reporting; and to increasing levels of unprotected sex.