STDs Set New Record in US

Lynette PayneAug 30, 2018

Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in America, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An estimated 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were diagnosed in the USA last year, capping a multiyear period of "steep and sustained increases in STDs", said the US health agency. Forty five percent of those cases were among 15-to 24-year-old females.

The total surpassed the previous record in 2016 by more than 200,000 cases and marked a larger trend of "sharp increases" in these STDs since 2013.

Building Healthy Online Communities, a public health group that works with apps to support STD prevention, believes dating apps have become "digital bathhouses" and could be increasing the rate of disease.

Chlamydia was the most common condition reported to the CDC, with more than 1.7 million cases diagnosed in 2017.

Primary and secondary syphilis diagnoses increased 76 percent (from 17,375 to 30,644 cases).

"An STD expert says that President Trump should declare this a public health crisis".

The two-drug combination has yet to fail, but the CDC found resistance to azithromycin has increased from 1 percent in 2013 to more than 4 percent in 2017.

These STDs are curable with antibiotics, yet most cases go undiagnosed and untreated, according to the CDC.

In recent years, gonorrhea has become resistant to almost every class of antibiotics, except ceftriaxone.

"If we're not teaching people how to keep themselves safe from sexually transmitted infections early, then we start to see these surges and increases in those rates", Rauch said.

Syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth and increased HIV risk. However, 2017 saw the emergence of a "super gonorrhea" that is treatment resistant, and it's not inconceivable that the other diseases could evolve to resist antibiotics as well. But he also said providers and patients played a significant role as "doctors are not screening and testing for STDs and patients don't know they need to ask for screening and treatment".

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