Published: Wed, October 09, 2019
Medical | By

3 sexually transmitted diseases hit new highs again in US

3 sexually transmitted diseases hit new highs again in US

Almost 2.5 million cases of these sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) were reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the year. Cases of gonorrhea increased 211% to 79,397. CDC says that Alaska has been experiencing a gonorrhea outbreak since October of 2017.

In a nutshell, the report revealed that there were 1.8 million cases of chlamydia in 2018 (a 19 percent increase since 2014); 583,405 cases of gonorrhea (a 63 percent increase since 2014); 35,063 cases in primary and secondary syphilis (a 71 percent increase since 2014); and 1,306 cases of congenital syphilis (a 185 percent increase since 2014).

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.

STD rates are rising all over California, in both men and women, the report found.

And the numbers are certainly an underestimate, she added: STDs often have no symptoms, leaving people unaware they are infected.


Leading the rise in nationwide increases, the US saw a 40% rise in newborns born with congenital syphilis since a year ago, about a 14% increase overall. Increasing cases of syphilis in newborns (congenital syphilis) are particularly worrisome.

Gonorrhea increased 5 percent to more than 580,000 cases - also the highest number reported since 1991. Rates of all 3 sexually transmitted diseases increased among males and females in all racial and ethnic groups across the nation. Every single instance of congenital syphilis is one too many when we have the tools to prevent it. There were 188 cases of gonorrhea reported and 29 cases of early syphilis.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today released final data on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in California in 2018.

"There's a lack of public, provider, and policymaker knowledge about what's happening in STDs, and many consider these to be infections of a bygone era", Matthew Prior, the communications director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, told me via email. Stronger sustained efforts among public health and healthcare systems are needed to curb these rates, starting with providing education other than that of abstinence only.

Chlamydia had the most cases previous year with 232,181, up 56% over the past decade. And in recent years, more than half of local STD treatment and prevention programs have faced budget cuts.

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