Ending a 12-year decline, incidences of gonorrhea rose nine percent in 1998. Although a single digit rise may seem insignificant, prior to 1998 the rate had fallen 64 percent between 1985 and 1997. Why the sudden rise in cases? Speculation points to an increase in complacency leading to a rise in unprotected sex. “There does seem to be some real increases in the overall number of gonorrhea cases due to unsafe sexual behavior,” said CDC epidemiologist Debra Mosure.