This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released preliminary data at the National STD Conference in Washington, DC. They reported that nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were diagnosed in the United States in 2017. This surpassed the previous record set in 2016 by more than 200,000 cases. This also marked the fourth consecutive year of sharp increases in STDs.
“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. “It is evident the systems that identify, treat, and ultimately prevent STDs are strained to near-breaking point.”
Gonorrhea diagnosis increased 67 percent overall, nearly doubling among men. Primary and secondary syphilis increased 76 percent. Primary and secondary syphilis are the most infectious stages of the disease. And chlamydia remained the most common condition reported to CDC with more than 1.7 million cases reported in 2017.
Many cases go undiagnosed and untreated which can lead to severe adverse health effects including infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants and increased HIV risk. Many people don’t even know they’re infected which leads to increased spread. The CDC is also concerned about untreatable gonorrhea. Researchers reported that gonorrhea over the years has become resistant to nearly every class of antibiotics used to treat it.
What can you do? Although it’s possible you don’t show them, know the symptoms. Head over to WebMD to learn more about the symptoms of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. And then see a healthcare professional immediately if you show any of them.
You can also learn more about how to prevent STDs including abstinence, vaccination, reducing the number of sex partners, mutual monogamy, and using condoms.