2017 set record for STD cases — CDC

Ben Davidson
August 29, 2018

Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis soared to new record highs in the United States a year ago, public health officials said Tuesday. In 2017, a record-breaking 2.3 million new cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were reported.

Last year, almost 2.3 million USA cases of these sexually transmitted diseases were diagnosed, according to preliminary data. That uptick outpaces the more than two million cases in 2016, when the last record for STD rates hit an all-time high.

Over those four years, gonorrhea cases increased 67 percent - from 333,004 to 555,608 cases.

Between 2013 and 2017, syphilis diagnoses spiked 76 percent, going from 17,375 to 30,644 cases.

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While primary and secondary syphilis diagnoses went up by 76 percent, chlamydia remained the most commonly reported to the CDC with almost half of the new cases occurring in females ages 15-to-24.

"We have seen steep and sustained increases over the last five years", said Dr. Gail Bolan, director of the Division of STD Prevention at the CDC.

Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are curable with antibiotics, yet most cases go undiagnosed and untreated - which can lead to severe adverse health effects that include infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants, and increased HIV risk.

Public health experts are also concerned about antibiotic resistant gonorrhea. Only one antibiotic available in the United States, ceftriaxone, is highly effective in treating gonorrhea.

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