US hits record number of STDs 6th year in a row

Annual cases of sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. hit an all-time high for the sixth consecutive year in 2019, according to CDC data published April 13.  

The agency's 2019 "STD Surveillance Report" found:

  • 2.5 million reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, the three most commonly reported STDs in 2019.
  • A nearly 30 percent increase in these reportable STDs between 2015 and 2019.
  • Syphilis cases saw the sharpest increase among newborns, nearly quadrupling between 2015 and 2019.
  • Preliminary 2020 data suggest that many of these trends continued in 2020, when much of the U.S. experienced disruptions to STD testing and treatment services due to the pandemic.
  • The burden of STDs continued to hit racial and ethnic minority groups, gay and bisexual men, and youth the hardest.

"Less than 20 years ago, gonorrhea rates in the U.S. were at historic lows, syphilis was close to elimination, and advances in chlamydia diagnostics made it easier to detect infections," said Raul Romaguera, DMD, acting director for the CDC's Division of STD Prevention. "That progress has since unraveled, and our STD defenses are down. We must prioritize and focus our efforts to regain this lost ground and control the spread of STDs."

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