Wyoming Department of Health officials are warning state residents about an increase in sexually transmitted diseases both statewide and nationally.

According to the department, so far in 2016 1788 chlamydia cases, 197 gonorrhea cases, 17 HIV cases and 12 syphilis cases have been reported to the department of health.

Health officials say that's an increase for most of the diseases over the total number of cases reported in 2015 in Wyoming. Because those numbers only reflect the disease rates among people who have been tested, the actual STD rate is probably much higher.

National statistics from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show more cases of chlamydia,, gonorrhea,  and syphilis were reported in 2015 than ever before.

Meanwhile Wyoming had a 2015 gonorrhea rate that was 1.5 times as high as in 2014. Wyoming counties with the highest overall STD rates in 2015 included Fremont, Campbell, Laramie, Albany and Natrona.

Department spokeswoman Kim Deti is urging people to protect themselves by taking such steps as abstinence, limiting the number of partners, correct and consistent condom use and getting tested before starting a new sexual relationship. more information about STDs and their prevention is available at a website.

The site also provides a voucher code for free or low-cost testing that is available at several locations across the state.