Reported Sexually Transmitted Diseases Reach Epidemic levels in California

Grant Boone
October 11, 2019

Needs for increased funding for sexually transmitted disease prevention efforts through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for investments in improved surveillance and for attention to ensure essential public health services are accessible, are clearly spelled out in the report.

According to a 2018 STD Surveillance Report from the CDC, combined cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia reached an all-time high in the United States a year ago with more than 2.4 million cases. The infection rate rose 3% from 2017.

Chlamydia increased 3% to more than 1.7 million cases in the USA - the most ever reported to CDC. About 35,000 cases of the most contagious forms of the disease were reported - also the most since 1991.

The rate of gonorrhea cases in particular hit a 28-year high, with 583,405 cases reported. Those five states together made up almost two-thirds of total cases, although all but 17 states saw increases in their congenital syphilis rates.

Virginia Bowen, an epidemiologist at the CDC, said social, cultural and economic factors may contribute to increases in reported STD cases.

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In order to reduce the number of babies born with syphilis, health officials say it's vital that pregnant women be tested. The CDC cautioned that many cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis "continue to go undiagnosed and unreported", which means the data recorded only highlights "a fraction of America's STD epidemic".

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published its latest report on the state of STDs in the United States.

Some STDs are becoming resistant to antibiotics previously used to treat them.

In the report, the authors blamed budget cuts at both the state and local levels for the increase in STI cases, as the cuts resulted in staff reductions and clinic closures, which in turn led to fewer screenings and patient follow-ups. Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth while syphilis can be transmitted through contact with infected blood.

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