STD Rates Continue to Rise in the US

  • STD Rates Continue to Rise in the US

STD Rates Continue to Rise in the US

More than 1.7 million cases of chlamydia (kluh-MID'-ee-uh) were reported a year ago.

The CDC writes that "urgent action from all types of stakeholders is needed to help control the increases in STDs", and says that it is working to develop a federal action plan to stop the rise in rates. And for the past five years, the conclusions have been the same: After years of decline, the most commonly reported STDs in the United States - chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis - are staging a comeback.

Syphilis had the most dramatic spike over the 10-year period in terms of percentage; the 25,344 diagnoses represents a sharp rise of 265% from 2008, according to the report. But the problem begins earlier, with young USA women contracting syphilis at an ever-higher rate in recent years.

Improved testing may be contributing to the increase in numbers, but it can't completely explain the surge.

In 2018, there were an astounding 35,000 confirmed cases of the disease.

The rate of infection climbed steadily between 2014 and 2018, resulting in a 71% jump in the number of syphilis cases, a 63% increase in gonorrhea and a 19% rise in chlamydia during that period.

"STDs can come at a high cost for babies and other vulnerable populations", Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, said in a news release.

The increases coincided with public health funding cuts and clinic closures. Because syphilis can be cured with antibiotics, it's critical that pregnant women be screened for the infection at their first prenatal care visit, the CDC advised.

Babies with congenital syphilis are at risk of premature birth and low birth weights.

The rate of STD cases was higher in Santa Barbara County.

And those that survive may have brain and nervous system problems, skeletal defects and low blood counts.

Last year, 94 infants died of congenital syphilis, according to the newly-released CDC data, a "startling" increase over 2017's 77 deaths, according to Dr Gail Bolan, director of the agency's Division of STD Prevention.

In San Luis Obispo County, 1,200 cases of chlamydia were reported in 2018. The state had only a single reported case from 2013 through 2017.

Health officials encourage people to protect themselves from STDs by using condoms, getting tested, and practicing other safe sex principles.