The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported an alarming statistic. According to the agency’s, in 2016, there were 2 million new cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia among American citizens. This is the highest number of these STD’s ever reported.
According to the CDC’s annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report, there were more than 1.6 million new cases of chlamydia, 470,000 new cases of gonorrhea and nearly 28,000 were of primary and secondary syphilis (secondary syphilis is the most contagious form of the disease). Only these three STD’s are required by law to be reported to the CDC, according to CNN. It is estimated that there would be 20 million new cases of STD’s if HIV and the dozens of other diseases that can be transmitted sexually were included. When it comes to syphilis (which can be deadly), there was an 18% increase between 2015 and 2016, mostly among men who have sex with men. Also, there was an increase in syphilis passed on from mothers to newborns (628 cases with 40 deaths and “severe health complications” among babies that survived).
Experts point to funding cuts to prevention, education and healthcare programs as a reason for the rise in STD cases. Another reason is the failure of doctors to educate patients on what to look for as far as these diseases are concerned. To remedy this, the CDC has published a provider guide for physicians and a network of clinical training centers are in the works.
Though all of these STD’s can be cured with antibiotics, many people fail to get diagnosed or treated much of the time. Get yourself tested because, “If not treated, gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis can have serious consequences, such as infertility, neurological issues, and an increased risk for HIV,” said David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors.