There were more reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in 2015 (reported in 2016) than ever before in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) records dating back to 1941.
Though it’s the second year in a row with historically high STD levels, the latest annual report gives an unsettling glimpse at a nationwide epidemic involving chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
Among the three nationally reported STDs, chlamydia had the highest total number of cases, hitting more than 1.5 million — highlighting a 5.9 percent increase from that of 2014. Meanwhile, syphilis saw the largest jump, with a 19 percent increase from 2014, reaching nearly 24,000 cases. Last but certainly not least, gonorrhea followed with a 12.8 percent increase, bringing the 2015 total to 400,000.
“We have reached a decisive moment for the nation,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, said in a statement. “STD rates are rising, and many of the country’s systems for preventing STDs have eroded. We must mobilize, rebuild and expand services – or the human and economic burden will continue to grow.”
Of those most affected by the STD rise, the report suggests that young people, gay and bisexual men face the greatest risk of becoming infected. Even more alarming – there continues to be a troubling uptick in syphilis among newborns.