Rates of three STDs in US reach record high as Chlamydia makes the highest spike, CDC says
Sexually Transmitted Diseases have been reported to hit their highest incidence in recent times following four years of steady rise with Chlamydia having the highest spike. This was revealed at the National STD Prevention Conference in Washington by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention following recent data reports.
It has been revealed that although the United States has demonstrated advances in preventive medicine, there was an unprecedented increase in the incidences of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia in recent times. This has considerably generated concerns among policymakers and healthcare providers calling on the government to declare the scourge as a public health crisis.
“It is time that President Trump and [Health and Human Services] Secretary [Alex] Azar declare STDs in America a public health crisis,” David Harvey, the Conference co-host and the Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, said.
The incidence of STDs in the US, Chlamydia’s dramatic climb
In the country, there were 2,365,744 reported incidences of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia. Interestingly, chlamydia accounted for over 70% (1,708,569 cases of chlamydia) of this number of cases. The documentation for Chlamydia did not start until 1984. However, the incidence of gonorrhea and syphilis in the U.S. in 1941 was 679,028.
Chlamydial infections in women are often asymptomatic. Hence, their numbers could be more than the preliminary survey reveals. When untreated, however, the infection could result in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a major cause of infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pain in the pelvic region.
Smaller communities were not left behind in the trend. In the small county of Wichita 789 cases were ported in 2016 as revealed by the recently released County Health Rankings. This amounts to a rate of 606 per 100,0 which were higher than both the Texas and U.S. averages of 520 and 497, respectively. However, figures have improved for Wichita County in the past two years.
Syphilis is also a rising concern, endangering babies
In a similar vein, there has been an observed increase in the incidence of syphilis. Asides the reproductive system, Syphilis which is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum can affect the nervous system and other organs if left untreated. Syphilis is most commonly transmitted through sexual contact. It can however also be transmitted from mother to baby – congenital syphilis which could be a life-threatening infection. Hence, this recent increase does not just threaten the U.S health indices, it puts the lives of babies on the line.
Experts seeking a cause as stigmatization poses a major limitation
Experts have tried to find out the reasons for these incidences. There has been an increase in risky sexual behaviors with many invoking the use of opioids and many having sex without a condom. Contrary to the logical thoughts of the possibility of a higher frequency of sexual intercourse, The CDC reports sexual activity is decreasing in the country. The biennial General Social Survey found an increase of 4 percent in the proportion of those not having sex. The percentage has increased from 18 to 22 percent in the last 20 years.
The number of those aged between 18 and 30 who reported having sexual intercourse twice in the previous month went down from three-quarters in the early 2000s to two-thirds by 2016.