So what do we do now?
These STDs are curable with antibiotics, yet most cases go undiagnosed and untreated, according to the CDC.
If untreated, these diseases can affect a couple’s ability to get pregnant, cause ectopic pregnancy and stillbirth, promote chronic pain in the pelvis or abdomen, and increase a person’s risk of contracting or transmitting HIV, the CDC noted.
Doctors are not screening and testing for STDs, and patients not knowing that they need to ask for those specific screening and treatment is an issue the CDC says contributes to these growing numbers.
A lack of sex education also is contributing to the spread of STDs, said Michael Fraser, executive director for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
“There’s really good science out there. There’s ways to do effective programs based on evidence and data,” Fraser said at the briefing. “Certainly, there’s a lot more we could do.”