A new report from the Centers for Disease Control may keep you, and the person you share your bed with, up at night. The number of STD cases in the U.S. grew to at least 110 million in 2016 — up 20 million from 2015.
The main culprits are chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. All three are on the upswing, put succinctly in this not-so-encouraging paragraph from the report: “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, such as better chlamydia diagnostic tests and more screening, contributing to increases in detection and treatment of chlamydial infections. That progress has since unraveled.”
How much? Between 2015 and 2016, cases of chlamydia grew 4.7 percent. Syphilis climbed 17.6 percent, while gonorrhea grew 18.5 percent.
Though the report says the rise, particularly in chlamydia, could be attributed to better and more frequent screening, it makes clear that these numbers are based only on known statistics. There are likely far more cases that have not been treated or diagnosed.
To thwart the problem, the report calls for improved local health care, particularly in poor or underserved communities.
”The enormity of the S.T.D. epidemic requires everyone play a role in reversing these trends,” Dr. Gail Bolan, the director of sexually transmitted disease prevention at the C.D.C. told the New York Times.
In other, and simpler, terms: start by wrapping it up.