Public health officials are expressing significant concern about recent data showing steep and sustained increases in the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in recent years.
The data show diagnoses of gonorrhea increased by 67% overall and nearly doubled among men. Cases of primary and secondary syphilis increased by 76% during this period. Further, the CDC reported that chlamydia remained the most common STD reported, with 1.7 million cases diagnosed in 2017. Among these cases, 45% occurred in women 15-24 years of age.
While antibiotics offer a cure for all these STDs, the CDC noted most of these cases are going undiagnosed and untreated, leading to severe adverse effects, including infertility, pregnancy complications, and an increased risk of contracting HIV.
In response to the data, a statement released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) said that the numbers represent damaging effects to public and individual health, and that federal efforts to end the epidemic of HIV will not succeed if the escalating incidence of STDs is not fully addressed. (To read much more of the statement from the IDSA, please visit: .)
Expressing concern about “dangerous gaps” in the public health infrastructure, the IDSA called for increased funding for STD prevention and surveillance efforts across the country.