Indiana health agency urges residents to get tested for STDs

State health officials are urging Indiana residents to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases as the nation marks STD Awareness Month during April.

The Indiana State Department of Health said Thursday that chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are of particular concern in the state. Indiana has nearly 31,000 cases of chlamydia, 9,500 cases of gonorrhea and 800 cases of primary and secondary syphilis reported in 2016.

State Health Commissioner Kris Box warns that STDs could cause serious health problems, including brain and nervous system damage, infertility and babies born prematurely. People with such diseases also are more likely to transmit HIV.

Most STDs can be treated but are hard to find out as they often have no symptoms.

Box urges anyone who is sexually active to get tested annually.