When it comes to ranking, you usually want your hometown city, state, or country to be first, right? Well, not this time. According to new data, the United States is experiencing a “steep and sustained” spike in sexually transmitted diseases.
Cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia all increased in 2017, making it the fourth straight year in which STD infections continued to expand.
“The United States continues to have the highest STD rates in the industrialized world,” said David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors. “We are in the midst of an absolute STD public health crisis in this country. It’s a crisis that has been in the making for years.”
More than 4 percent of gonorrhea samples now are resistant to azithromycin (Zithromax), one of two antibiotics now used to cure the bacterial infection, the CDC says. That’s up from 1 percent in 2013.
“The finding adds to the complexities of gonorrhea treatment,” said Dr. Gail Bolan, director of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention. “Our nation must plan for the future. Our nation urgently needs additional treatment options for gonorrhea.”
CDC records show that in 2017:
– Gonorrhea cases increased 67 percent, rising from 333,004 to 555,608 diagnoses. Infections among men nearly doubled, and cases among women increased for the third year in a row.
Wow! An increase of 67% is incredible! For it to increase just by 10 percent is massive, but 67% is crazy.
– Syphilis diagnoses increased 76 percent, from 17,375 cases to 30,664 cases. Nearly 7 in 10 infections occurred among men who are gay or bisexual.
– Chlamydia remained the most common STD with more than 1.7 million cases diagnosed, up from around 1.6 million the year before. About 45 percent of cases were among young women aged 15 to 24.