STDs Reach Record Highs, Threatening the Health of Millions of Americans

Gonorrhea illustration from the Centers for Disease Control

Over a quarter million cases of STDs were reported in 2016, a 40 percent increase compared to five years ago including 198,503 cases of chlamydia, 64,677 of gonorrhea, and 11,222 of early syphilis.

The CDC reports, "Syphilis rates increased by 17.6 percent over 2015 numbers, including a 35 percent increase in women".

The 22% rise in gonorrhea among men was the largest for that disease.

Health officials urge that using condoms can help prevent chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, and they can be cured with antibiotics.

"The number of reported STDs in California is increasing at a concerning rate", CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith said.

"STDs are a persistent enemy, growing in number, and outpacing our ability to respond".

"Research suggests that a large share of new gonorrhea cases is occurring among MSM", the release stated. But there were also almost a half million (470,000) new gonorrhea cases and almost 28,000 new cases of syphilis, according to an annual report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday.

There were more than 600 cases of syphilis among newborns - known as congenital syphilis - a 28% increase in a single year.

"Every baby born with syphilis represents a tragic systems failure", said Gail Bolan, director of CDC's Division of STD Prevention.

All three STDs are curable, but if left untreated they can cause infertility or other serious health problems.

Helping state and local health departments rapidly test for drug-resistant gonorrhea and quickly find and treat affected individuals, as part of the federal government's Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (CARB) Action Plan.

Sexually transmitted disease rates are at an all-time high in California according to new data from the California Department of Public Health. The CDC also recommends that providers make STD screening a standard part of medical care. STD services also provide opportunities for further prevention of HIV through testing and pre-exposure prophylaxis. Young people ages 15-24 and gay and bisexual men are at highest risk for STDs and can drive new HIV infections.



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