New, faster tests that take minutes instead of days, such as one being developed for chlamydia, could help in the fight against the growing number of sexually transmitted infections — nationwide and locally — by providing patients with a diagnosis and access to treatment in the same day. “It’s uncomfortable for the doctor and the patient, but we need to do a better job encouraging doctors and nurses to ask for a sexual history,” said Dr. Patrick Luedtke, Lane County’s Senior Public Health officer. “We need to empower patients to share their sexual history with their provider.” Cases of sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have been on the rise in since the early 2000s, and health officials are predicting the number of cases will continue to increase in 2019 because people aren’t practicing safe sex. Untreated sexually transmitted infections can lead to long-term health problems for men and women and to birth defects in babies. But early testing and treatment can cure an infection and prevent new infections. Nationwide, chlamydia cases rose 22 percent between 2013 and 2017. Over the same time period there was a 67 percent increase in cases of ...