Sexually transmitted diseases are treatable and preventable. So why are more people getting them?

SALT LAKE CITY — Cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia — sexually transmitted diseases monitored by public health agencies — have risen since 2013, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2017 surveillance report that calls the increase “steep and sustained.”

Chlamydia cases have increased 22 percent to 1.7 million, gonorrhea by 67 percent to 555,608 cases and syphilis a whopping 76 percent to 30,644 cases — a dramatic reversal of a yearslong trend of declining cases.

“Yet not that long ago, gonorrhea rates were at historical lows, syphilis was close to elimination and we were able to point to advances in STD prevention, such as better diagnostic tests and more screening, contributing to increases in detection and treatment of chlamydial infections. That progress has since unraveled,” writes Dr. Gail Bolan, director of the center’s Division of STD Prevention.

Officials are also worried about the appearance of an antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea and a dramatic rise in congenital syphilis, indicating pregnant women are not being screened or treated in time to prevent its transmission to their babies.

Aaron Thorup

Half the diagnosed STDs are found among those ages 15-24. That’s especially problematic, the CDC notes, because those young people are entering their prime age to have children and for sexual activity. Sexually transmitted infections can cause infertility and make it easier to transfer HIV to unborn children and partners, among other problems.

The increase in STDs has happened while the CDC, The National Campaign and others suggested that the number of teens engaging in sex has decreased and those using contraceptives have increased to explain why teen pregnancy had decreased in the United States. The figures from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Adolescent Health for 2016 showed 209,809 babies were born to females …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Top stories


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