The number of sexually transmitted gonorrhea infections in Alaska has decreased, according to the State Section of Epidemiology.
Gonorrhea went down 23 percent for the first three quarters of 2011, with 770 laboratory confirmed cases, compared to more than a thousand for the same time last year.
The decrease was seen statewide, except the Interior. Fewer cases occurred among all racial groups, with the most sizeable reductions among white and Alaska Native populations.
HIV/STD Program Manager Susan Jones says the gonorrhea numbers may be down due to increased awareness of the disease, when it reached almost epidemic proportions in recent years. Emphasis also is being placed on expedited partner therapy, where sexual partners can receive treatment without going to a health care provider.
Despite the decrease, Alaska still has one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases in the nation, ranking third in 2010.
- "A lot of ice experts, including myself, thought we were headed for a record year minimum," said Hajo Eicken, a professor at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
- Despite rainy weather, the luxury cruise liner Crystal Serenity arrived in Nome on schedule, Sunday morning. About a thousand people poured out of the floating hotel and emptied into the town of Nome for a full day of scheduled activities and events, including the formal commemoration held at the Nome Mini Convention Center.
- Kenai Peninsula Assembly Vice President Brent Johnson plans to introduce an ordinance at the meeting Tuesday, August 23, that would replace the invocation or prayer said at the beginning of meetings with a moment of silence.