STD Rates Continue to Climb in US

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

The latest report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that sexually transmitted diseases are continuing to rise, especially among teens.

According to a report by Reuters, the latest statistics on chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis show that these infections are continuing to spread in the United States.

“Chlamydia and gonorrhea are stable at unacceptably high levels and syphilis is resurgent after almost being eliminated,” said John Douglas, director of the division of sexually transmitted diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a phone interview. “We have among the highest rates of STDs of any developed country in the world.”

Some of the report’s findings include:

* 1.2 million cases of chlamydia were reported in 2008, up from 1.1 million in 2007.

* Nearly 337,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported.

* Adolescent girls 15 to 19 years had the most chlamydia and gonorrhea cases of any age group at 409,531.

* Black women 15 to 19 had the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea.

* 13,500 syphilis cases were reported in 2008, an almost 18 percent increase from 2007, with 63 percent of these cases being among men who have sex with men.

* Syphilis rates among women increased 36 percent from 2007 to 2008.

While syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea can all be treated with antibiotics, if left untreated, they can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, ectopic pregnancy and can infect newborns.

Nineteen million new sexually transmitted infections occur each year in the U.S., with almost half occurring in people under the age of 25.

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