STDs on Rise According to CDC

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Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) continue to rise according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). STDs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were all found to have increased from 2007 to 2008.

The CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new STD infections occur each year. Approximately half of them occur in young people 15 to 24 years of age. Women are also severely affected.

All STDs have been associated with increased HIV transmission, which is of particular concern among men who have sex with men (MSM) of all races. African-American men and women continue to have the greatest HIV burden.

Many cases of notifiable STDs go undiagnosed. Some common viral infections, such as human papillomavirus and genital herpes, are not reported at all.

The CDC’s latest study notes 13,500 syphilis cases were reported in 2008, an almost 18 percent increase from 2007. Most of the syphilis cases (63%) occurred in men who have sex with men. However, syphilis rates among women increased 36 percent from 2007 to 2008.

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The study found 1.2 million cases of chlamydia were reported in 2008, up from 1.1 million in 2007. Nearly 337,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported. Teenage girls, 15 to 19 years, were the ones to have the most chlamydia and gonorrhea cases of any age group. There were more black women in this group than whites or other ethnic races.

While blacks represent only 12% of the U.S. population, this ethnic group accounted for nearly 71 percent of reported gonorrhea cases and almost half of all chlamydia and syphilis cases in 2008.

Untreated STSs can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can lead to infertility and ectopic pregnancy. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis can all be treated with antibiotics

Prevention of STDs is key. This can be done by abstinence or by safe sex practices. Safe sex practices include condom use, limiting the number of sex partners, and avoid sex with people who do have many other sex partners.

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