STDs in America Hit an All-Time High in 2018

Grant Boone
October 9, 2019

The trends in California echoed a report released Tuesday by the CDC, which said combined cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis in the us had risen for the fifth consecutive year.

In 2018, there were 25,344 cases of syphilis reported in the state, a 265% increase from 10 years 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. It also noted cases of congenital syphilis, which is when a mother passes the STD to her baby during pregnancy, increased 40 percent from 2017 to 2018.

And, noted the CDC, they are seeing an alarming rise in newborn deaths from congenital syphilis, with almost 100 infants dying of the disease in 2018. Since 2012, the number of infants diagnosed with the potentially lethal disease skyrocketed 900%. That's the highest number since 1991. Add to that recent cuts to state and local STD programs, resulting in clinic closures and less screening and patient follow-up.

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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. "Some people diagnosed with STD have experienced substance use, incarceration, the exchange of sex for money/housing/other resources, poverty, homelessness and disparities in access to care".

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