Reported STDs reach all-time high for sixth consecutive year

Reported STDs reach all-time high for sixth consecutive year


WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBT) — Reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases went up for the sixth year in a row in 2019, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control report released Tuesday.

“Less than 20 years ago, gonorrhea rates in the U.S. were at historic lows, syphilis was close to elimination, and advances in chlamydia diagnostics made it easier to detect infections,” said Raul Romaguera, DMD, MPH, acting director for CDC’s Division of STD Prevention. “That progress has since unraveled, and our STD defenses are down. We must prioritize and focus our efforts to regain this lost ground and control the spread of STDs.”

According to the 2019 STD Surveillance Report:

  • 2.5 million reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, the three most commonly reported STDs in 2019.
  • A nearly 30% increase in these reportable STDs between 2015 and 2019.
  • The sharpest increase was in cases of syphilis among newborns (i.e., congenital syphilis), which nearly quadrupled between 2015 and 2019.

The 2019 data provides the most recent full picture of STD trends in the U.S. Preliminary 2020 data suggests that many of the trends continued into 2020.

Young people aged 15-24 made up 61% of chlamydia and 42% of gonorrhea cases, according to the CDC. Ethnic minority groups were hit harder than their white counterparts, as were were gay and bisexual men.

“Focusing on hard-hit populations is critical to reducing disparities,” said Jo Valentine, MSW, associate director of the Office of Health Equity in CDC’s Division of STD Prevention. “To effectively reduce these disparities, the social, cultural, and economic conditions that make it more difficult for some populations to stay healthy must be addressed. These include poverty, unstable housing, drug use, lack of medical insurance or regular medical provider, and high burden of STDs in some communities.”

 

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