Increase of 3 Key STDs Raises Concern From CDC
Even with all the modern medical advances and after decades of schools, parents, and healthcare professionals preaching the importance of safe sex practices and STD testing, it seems the results aren’t matching up with the efforts. A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the number of three key sexually transmitted diseases in 2014 have increased for the first time since 2006, according to the health and wellness news source News.Health.com.
The number of positive tests for chlamydia rose by 2.8%, syphilis 15%, and gonorrhea 5%. While the not quite 3% increase of chlamydia might seem somewhat insignificant, it’s actually historic. That number reflects the total 1.4 million cases that were reported in 2014, which is the highest total number of cases of any STD ever reported to the CDC, according to the organizations annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2014 report.
Despite the total number of cases of gonorrhea and syphilis being much lower than chlamydia (350,000 and 20,000 respectively), CDC officials are concerned about the trend in general.
“In the previous years, we have had some declines in some diseases and increases in others. But, we are concerned about the alarming increases we are seeing in chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis,” said lead researcher Dr. Gail Bolan, director of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention.
STDs typically affect young people and especially women at the highest rates, but the new research showed a significant uptick in the cases of gay and bisexual men. Syphilis has been especially predominant in this group as the rate has increased since 2000. Approximately 83% of the reported cases of syphilis in 2014 were gay or bisexual men.
One of the factors the CDC believes to be affecting the recent increase is a lack of access to STD testing clinics and services.
“About 7% of health departments have closed STD clinics,” Bolan said. “Over 40% have reduced clinic hours, and clinics have increased fees and co-pays. We are concerned that people are not getting access to the STD health services they deserve and need.”
One option more people should keep in mind is urgent care centers. Many of the over 6,800 such centers in the U.S. that see an estimated three million patients a week offer STD testing and subsequent treatment if need be. Urgent care clinics became a thing in the U.S. in the 1970s, but have become incredibly popular and prevalent over the last few years.
As many of these centers stay open late at night and on the weekends get yourself checked as soon as you have reason to believe you might have contracted an STD of any kind.