NEW YORK - New federal data show that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have reached an all-time high in the U.S. for the sixth consecutive year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just released its 2019 STD Surveillance Report.
It found that there were 2.5 million reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. They were the three most commonly reported STDs.
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There has been a nearly 30% increase in them between 2015 and 2019.
The sharpest increase was in cases of syphilis among newborns (i.e., congenital syphilis), which nearly quadrupled.
"Less than 20 years ago, gonorrhea rates in the U.S. were at historic lows, syphilis was close to elimination, and advances in chlamydia diagnostics made it easier to detect infections," said the CDC's Dr. Raul Romaguera. "That progress has since unraveled."
STDs can have serious health consequences. People with these infections do not always experience disease symptoms, but, if left untreated, some can increase the risk of HIV infection, or can cause chronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, severe pregnancy and newborn complications, and infant death.
CDC’s 2019 data provide the most recent full picture of STD trends in the United States before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Preliminary 2020 data suggest the trends continued in 2020, when much of the country experienced major disruptions to STD testing and treatment services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.