For the first time since 2006, cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are on the rise nationally and locally, according to reports of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The reports also show men are responsible for a large portion of the overall increases.
- Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise nationally
- STDs have dire effects on young people; get tested if you’re sexually active
- CDC reports show roughly 1.4 million cases of chlamydia
- The programs for direct clinical care of individuals with STDs are supported by local, state and federal funds
CDC researchers recommend regular screen for sexually active young people, many of whom may not even be aware they suffer from an infection. Dr. Gail Bolan, head of CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, couldn’t stress enough the severity of the consequences STDs have on young people.
“Because chlamydia and gonorrhea often have no symptoms,” he said, “many infections go undiagnosed and this can lead to lifelong repercussions for a woman’s reproductive health, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.” It is alarming indeed that chlamydia incidence, for example, has risen to 456.1 cases per 100,000 people since 2013.
Adding the 2.8 percent increase, there are almost 1.4 million cases of chlamydia. But that’s not the only STD that increased in prevalence; according to the report, rates of gonorrhea and primary and secondary syphilis – also known as or P&S – have also escalated. In 2014, the rates of people having gonorrhea were 110.7 per 100,000, and 6.3 per 100,000 were infected P&S.
Even though this is the first year when STDs overall are on the rise, rates of P&S have seen a steady increase ever since 2000, especially when it comes to men having sex with other men (MSM). These cases accounted for 83 percent of the STD’s carriers with a known sex partner.
Researchers also revealed that more than half of the MSM diagnosed with syphilis in 2014 were HIV-positive, as well. This discovery underscores the hypothesis that a syphilis diagnosis could increase chances of transmitting HIV.
Even greater risk surrounds the people infected with STDs, as CDC researchers acknowledged. Why? Because the stigma for gay and bisexual people, homophobia and poor access to quality health care could all be obstacles in preventing or treating the diseases.
It doesn’t help that government funding for health efforts has decreased recently, lessening the options accessible by many people. Bolan explained that “significant erosions of state and local STD control programs” could also add to the problem.
Image Source: New Health Adviser