STD rates skyrocketing in United States — CDC

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Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis soared to new record highs in the United States previous year, public health officials said Tuesday.

It's an alarming national trend that's been rising over the past five years.

"We're sliding backward", Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, said.

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

THE WRONG DIRECTION. According to the CDC, the US saw just under 2.3 million people diagnosed with syphilis, gonorrhea, or chlamydia in 2017. This represents the fourth consecutive year of a "steep, sustained" increase in STD cases - a 31 percent increase of 2013 levels. "We haven't seen anything like this for two decades".

In a press release, state Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said: "STDs are serious diseases and it is important that everyone is aware of the risks and dangers associated with them".

According to the Health Department, syphilis has had the biggest increase.

"The vast majority of individuals who have a sexually transmitted infection, they have no idea that they're even carrying", University of Indianapolis director of public health Heidi Hancher-Rauch said. "They do as little as possible", Klausner told Vox. 45 percent of those cases involved females from 15-24.

Gonorrhea diagnoses alone increased 67 percent and doubled among men. Reported cases of three well-known STDs all increased between 2016 and 2017.

The diseases are soaring among heterosexual men along with pregnant women and their babies, according to the report.

(Graphic: Centers for Disease Control)Are STDs curable?

Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis can be cured with antibiotics.

In recent years, gonorrhea has become resistant to almost every class of antibiotics, except ceftriaxone. While she added that there has never been a "confirmed treatment failure" when using this recommended treatment, the worry is there may eventually be a strain of gonorrhea that does not respond to ceftriaxone.

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