3 types of STDs reach all time highs in the US

Mar 2012
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New Hampshire
Health officials are raising alarm about a rise in STDs across the United States.

For the fifth consecutive year, combined cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis have risen in the United States, according to a Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published on Tuesday.

The number of reported syphilis cases is climbing after being largely on the decline since 1941, and gonorrhea rates are now increasing. "Many young women continue to have undiagnosed chlamydial infections, putting them at risk for infertility."

Possible factors driving this rise in STD cases, which vary depending on where you live, include a surge in people getting tested and cases being diagnosed and reported. There's also a decline in people using condoms. Among sexually active high school students, the prevalence of using a condom during a recent sexual experience increased from 46.2% to 62.8% between 1991 and 2005 but then decreased from 62.8% to 53.8% between 2005 and 2017. The new report found that rates of reported cases tended to be highest among adolescents and young adults.

The new report, which analyzed STD data for the year 2018, found that a total of about 1.8 million cases of chlamydia infection were reported to the CDC last year, making it the most common notifiable condition in the United States.

As the United States sees these steep increases in STDs, there also has been a slow decline in treatment options for one infection in particular: gonorrhea. The threat of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea persists across the United States and around the world. There have been a growing number of gonorrhea cases that are resistant to some of the antibiotics used to treat the infection.