Experts are concerned over the rising rate of sexually transmitted infections in the U.S. According to a new report from the CDC, Americans were infected with over 2 million new cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia in 2016 — the highest rate of these STIs that have ever been reported.
The Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report, published on Tuesday, found over 1.6 million new cases of chlamydia, 470,000 new cases of gonorrhea, and 28,000 cases of early and congenital syphilis.
The report also found that chlamydia rates were high amongst women between the ages of 15 and 24, and gay and bisexual men experienced the highest rate of syphilis.
"Clearly we need to reverse this disturbing trend," Gail Bolan, MD, director of CDC's division of STD prevention, told CNN. "The CDC cannot do this alone and we need every community in America to be aware that this risk is out there and help educate their citizens on how to avoid it."
The findings are especially troublesome given last year's report from the World Health Organization indicating that all three STIs were becoming more difficult to treat, thanks to antibiotic resistance. Earlier this year, another report from the WHO found that gonorrhea has remained difficult — and sometimes impossible — to treat.
Not to mention, these three STIs are the only ones that doctors are required to report to the CDC (hence why they're the only ones included in the report), so if you factor in other STIs that go unreported, the numbers are much higher. In fact, the CDC estimated that there could be as many as 20 million new cases of STIs altogether, and about half of them occur in young people aged 15 to 24.
In order to help curb the rising rates, the CDC recommends getting tested, being open with your partner about any STIs you may have, and seeking treatment.
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