Over the last five years, STD rates jumped 45% in California, which is an increase not seen in nearly three decades. Last year, Californians were behind 300,000 cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), according to the California Department of Public Health.
The surge in the infection rates was likely caused by a rise of unprotected sex, lack of STD facilities, and poor education. However, Department of Health’s chief of the division of communicable disease control James Watt thinks that the Internet was largely at fault.
Dr. Watt explained that dating sites and social media have enabled more Californians to find sex partners for one night stands.
It makes it easier for people to meet people they don’t already know to have sex,
the official said.
Some Groups Are at a Higher Risk than Others
Watt added that the Internet helps sexual networks get wider and the more people you get in those networks, the higher the chances of spreading STDs are.
- Health officials are alarmed by the jump in STD rates as the STDs have been on the rise each year since 2012 in the Golden State.
- The last time the levels were approximately this high was in 1990.
Infection rates of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis have been on the rise over the last five years. Public health officials warn that the uptick is “getting steeper.”
STD rates jumped in recent years, especially among the African American community. Blacks have a fivefold risk of getting gonorrhea or chlamydia when compared to whites, and a twofold risk of getting syphilis.
Chlamydia cases have reached the highest number in nearly three decades, with 218,710 new cases reported last year. Women are more likely to get chlamydia than men, while people aged 25 or younger are more likely to get a STD than their older peers, the Health Department report shows.
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