2017 set record for STD cases — CDC

FREDERIC J. BROWN via Getty Images

The number of sexually transmitted diseases continues to rise in the U.S. In fact, almost 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were diagnosed in the U.S.in 2017, surpassing the record set in 2016 by more than 200,000, CDC scientists reported Tuesday. Chlamydia was the worst offender with 1.7 million new cases, and about 45 percent of those to contract the STD were women between the ages of 15 and 24.

The total surpassed the previous record in 2016 by more than 200,000 cases and marked a larger trend of "sharp increases" in these STDs since 2013.

"We are sliding backward", said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.

Rates of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia have climbed for the fourth consecutive year in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday at the National STD Prevention Conference in Washington.

Diagnosed cases of gonorrhea increased 67 percent from 333,004 to 555,608 and almost doubled among men, rising from 169,130 to 322,169.

Between 2013 and 2017, syphilis diagnoses spiked 76 percent, going from 17,375 to 30,644 cases.

Poverty, stigma and drug use may contribute to the increases, the CDC said.

The most common condition reported to the CDC was chlamydia, with more than 1.7 cases diagnosed past year. Gonorrhea is of particular concern to health experts because it is on the verge of becoming untreatable.

The diseases are soaring among heterosexual men along with pregnant women and their babies, according to the report.

"M$3 ost cases go undiagnosed and untreated - which can lead to severe adverse health effects that include infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants, and increased HIV risk", according to the CDC.

Ceftriaxone is the only remaining effective antibiotic for treating gonorrhea in the United States. However, 2017 saw the emergence of a "super gonorrhea" that is treatment resistant, and it's not inconceivable that the other diseases could evolve to resist antibiotics as well.

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