This Is Why We Can't Have Nice STD Numbers, AmericaNewser — Jenn Gidman
A big number out of the CDC on Tuesday, and it's not a good one: The health protection agency says there were 2.4 million infections diagnosed and reported from three sexually transmitted diseases in 2018, the "most cases" ever documented in a one-year span, per a CDC epidemiologist.
Chlamydia claims the lion's share of these cases, with 1.8 million cases last year—a 19% increase since 2014. Meanwhile, there were more than 580,000 cases of gonorrhea, and about 38,000 cases of primary, secondary, and congenital syphilis.
Untreated, these STDs could lead to everything from infertility and drug-resistant conditions to congenital syphilis, which could in turn lead to infant death.
The cases seem to most often involve teens and young adults, and three states in particular rank high: Alaska for chlamydia, Nevada for primary and secondary syphilis, and Mississippi for gonorrhea.
The District of Columbia, however, had the highest rates for all three. Perhaps as unnerving as the numbers is that progress on these has "unraveled," per Dr.
Gail Bolan, head of the CDC's STD Prevention Division. "Not that long ago, gonorrhea rates were at historic lows, syphilis was close to elimination, and we were able to point to advances in STD prevention," Bolan writes in the report's foreword.
Factors that may be contributing to the steep numbers: a decrease in condom use, cutbacks in funding that led to fewer prevention programs, and increased screening accessibility, which generates more known cases.
"Americans have stopped taking STDs seriously," notes the Atlantic.
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This article originally appeared on Newser: This Is Why We Can't Have Nice STD Numbers, America