STD rates skyrocketing in United States — CDC

STD rates skyrocketing in United States — CDC

Americans are crawling with chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, according to a report that reveals a record-high spike in cases of sexually transmitted disease.

Experts say many factors have contributed to the rapid rise, though the biggest one may be less frequent condom use.

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

"Usually there are ebbs and flows, but this sustained increase is very concerning", she said.

"I think over the last five years, we've seen a rapid increase in the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections in the U.S., and we're also starting to see a plateau in our fight against the HIV epidemic, as well", he said. Females between the ages of 15 and 24 made up 45 percent of the cases.

Chlamydia was the most common condition reported to the CDC, with more than 1.7 million cases diagnosed in 2017.

Of these, 555,608 cases of gonorrhea represented a 67 percent uptick in the same time period.

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The CDC is urging doctors to stem the spread of STDs by promoting frank discussion of the infections, testing patients for STDs and promptly treating any cases they find.

Syphilis diagnoses have spiked by 76 percent since 2013, from 17,375 to 30,644 cases, respectively. Around 70 percent of the cases featured gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.

Public health experts are also concerned about antibiotic resistant gonorrhea.

The finding adds concerns that azithromycin-resistant genes in some gonorrhea could crossover into strains of gonorrhea with reduced susceptibility to ceftriaxone - and that a strain of gonorrhea may someday surface that does not respond to ceftriaxone. The disease almost doubled among men, and among women, cases increased for the third year in a row.

Untreated sexually transmitted diseases can lead to severe adverse health effects that include infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants, and increased HIV risk.

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

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