Record number of STDs diagnosed in U.S. a year ago

Americans are crawling with chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, according to a report that reveals a record-high spike in cases of sexually transmitted disease.

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.

"I think over the last five years, we've seen a rapid increase in the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections in the USA, and we're also starting to see a plateau in our fight against the HIV epidemic, as well", he said.

"We are sliding backward", Jonathan Mermin, the CDC's director for HIV/AIDS, Viral, STD and TB Prevention, said.

Diagnoses of primary and secondary syphilis rose 76 percent from 17,375 to 30,644. 45 percent of those cases involved females from 15-24.

Gonorrhea diagnoses increased 67 percent overall (from 333,004 to 555,608 cases according to preliminary 2017 data) and almost doubled among men (from 169,130 to 322,169). Primary and secondary syphilis are the most infectious stages of the disease. The U.S.'s rate of new STD cases has been trending upward for some time now, with each of the past four years resulting in "steep and sustained" increases, according to the CDC.

PREVENTION TREATMENT. This trio of STDs can lead to infertility, stillbirths, ectopic pregnancies, and a host of other conditions if left untreated. To do that, we need the government to step up and ensure those working to prevent STDs have the resources they need to do so effectively.

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Gonorrhea is of particular concern to health experts because it is on the verge of becoming untreatable.

In 2015, the CDC began recommending that gonorrhea be treated with a single shot of ceftriaxone accompanied by an oral dose of azithromycin.

Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are curable with antibiotics.

The CDC is urging doctors to stem the spread of STDs by promoting frank discussion of the infections, testing patients for STDs and promptly treating any cases they find.

Vanessa Coleman

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