CDC: Sexually transmitted diseases increase for fourth straight year

Grant Boone
August 30, 2018

For the fourth year in a row, the rates of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia have gone up in the United States with almost 2.3 million cases reported, according to the CDC. This figure was boosted by a 45 percent increase among 15-24-year-old females.

That is 200,000 more cases than the record set in 2016.

"We are sliding backward", said Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.

"We expect gonorrhea will eventually wear down our last highly effective antibiotic, and additional treatment options are urgently needed", said Gail Bolan, M.D., director of CDC's Division of STD Prevention.

Syphilis diagnoses increased 76 percent, from 17,375 cases to 30,664 cases.

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

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The National Coalition of STD Directors is asking the government to authorize emergency access to public health funding so they can combat the crisis.

"M$3 ost cases go undiagnosed and untreated - which can lead to severe adverse health effects that include infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants, and increased HIV risk", according to the CDC.

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. According to the Texas Health and Human Services STD Surveillance Report, in 2009 Brazos County saw and treated 885 cases of Chlamydia.

"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. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, Chlamydia diagnoses are up 11 percent, while Gonorrhea diagnoses are up 25 percent.

But Bolan reported that a "small, but growing fraction" of lab specimens of gonorrhea are showing "signs of antibiotic resistance".

A new report from the CDC says STDs are on the rise across the country.

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