STD Cases In The US Reached A Grim New High In 2017

The CDC also says that STD rates are on the rise

The number of sexually transmitted diseases continues to rise in the U.S.

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. Nearly half of chlamydia cases were in girls and women ages 15 to 24. In 2016, we saw roughly 200,000 fewer cases compared to 2017, and back in 2013, the number was 600,000 less than 2017's figure.

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

"The finding adds to the complexities of gonorrhea treatment", said Dr. Gail Bolan, director of the CDC's Division of STD Prevention.

Diagnoses of gonorrhea rose by 67 percent overall from 333,004 in 2013 to 555,608 cases, according to preliminary data for 2017.

A renewed commitment from health care providers - who are encouraged to make STD screening and timely treatment a standard part of medical care, especially for the populations most affected - is an important component to reverse current trends.

More than 4 percent of gonorrhea samples now are resistant to azithromycin (Zithromax), one of two antibiotics now used to cure the bacterial infection, the CDC says.

The most common condition reported to the CDC was chlamydia, with more than 1.7 cases diagnosed previous year.

Men who have sex with men made up nearly 70 percent of syphilis cases.

Public health experts are also concerned about antibiotic resistant gonorrhea. The diseases can be treated with antibiotics, but gonorrhea has become resistant to almost every class of antibiotics except ceftriaxone.

All three of the diseases are treatable but woman could suffer from permanent damage to the reproductive system and men to the prostate if not addressed.

Most STDs go undiagnosed and untreated, the CDC said, which can cause infertility, stillbirth and an increased risk of HIV.

Ceftriaxone is the only remaining effective antibiotic for treating gonorrhea in the United States.

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