A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the number of reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. struck an all-time high in 2015. The CDC found three STDs — syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia — on the rise for the second straight year. The CDC said a lack of education is partly to blame for the rise.
The CDC reported there were more than 1.5 million cases of chlamydia recorded in 2015, a 6 percent rise from 2014. Approximately 400,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported, and cases of syphilis saw a staggering 19 percent rise in 2015, with approximately 24,000 cases being reported. Dr. Gail Bolan, the agency’s director of STD prevention, said the rise in STDs can be tied to budgets for STD programs being cut the past few years, which saw clinics close, clinic hours being reduced, and an inability to track how the diseases are spreading:
“Not that long ago, gonorrhea rates were at historic lows, syphilis was close to elimination, and we were able to point to advances in STD prevention. That progress has since unraveled.”
The report found that young people, 15 to 24 years old, were most at risk for the STDs, with this group accounting for two-thirds of 2015’s chlamydia diagnoses and half of the gonorrhea cases. The data and the faltering programs are pretty clearly tied together, for this age group isn’t getting the proper education they need about the dangers of STDs. Bolan said the key to cutting down on cases is to continue to study their patterns and monitor health complications.