CDC: 2017 set record for STD cases

CDC: 2017 set record for STD cases
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The number of cases involving sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the U.S. hit a new high in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were diagnosed in 2017, surpassing the 2016 record by 200,000. 

It marks the fourth consecutive year of sharp increases in STDs, the CDC said. 

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“We are sliding backward,” said Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.

“It is evident the systems that identify, treat, and ultimately prevent STDs are strained to near-breaking point.”

Poverty, stigma and drug use may contribute to the increases, the CDC said. 

Gonorrhea diagnoses increased 67 percent between 2013 and 2017 and nearly doubled among men during that time period. 

Primary and secondary syphilis diagnoses increased 76 percent between 2013 and 2017. Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men made up almost 70 percent of primary and secondary syphilis cases where the gender of the sex partner is known in 2017, the CDC said. 

Chlamydia remained the most common STD reported, with more than 1.7 million cases in 2015. Forty five percent of those cases were among 15-to-24-year-old women. 

The CDC notes that these STDs are curable with antibiotics but often go undiagnosed and untreated, which can lead to severe health problems, including infertility.