Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day, and the Wyoming Department of Health is urging sexually active Wyomingites to get tested for STDs.

Epidemiologist Courtney Smith says it’s easier to contract HIV if you already have another STD.

“If people are already infected with an STD, it can cause things such as a chancre or a sore that can kind of cause a pathway for HIV to transmit through,” Smith said.

Smith says that anyone who is sexually active should get tested annually, and adds that they should also get tested any time they have a new partner.

It’s Sexually Transmitted Disease awareness month and in Wyoming this is a serious issue.  Statistics show that STDs in the state are on the rise.  A number of health care organizations are trying to get sexually active people tested for STDs and to check their HIV status.  Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is engaged in a campaign called GYT – get yourself tested.   Melody Meanor is the Manager of Planned Parenthood’s Casper Health Center.  She says the sharp increase in STD’s in Wyoming is alarming.