Health Care

Alaska again at the top of sexually transmitted disease rates

Alaska again at the top of sexually transmitted disease rates”

The number of sexually transmitted diseases in the USA has continued to rise for the fifth straight year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with officials pointing to drug use, decreased condom use and reduced access to health services as just a few of the reasons behind the spread.

Chlamydia had the most cases previous year with 232,181, up 56% over the past decade.

In 2018, there were 25,344 cases of syphilis reported in the state, a 265% increase from 10 years ago. STDs are a growing threat to our nation's health. "We want to make sure that these women are actually linked to treatment, and the treatment is documented so that we can prevent congenital syphilis". Increasing cases of syphilis in newborns (congenital syphilis) are particularly worrisome. And for the past five years, the conclusions have been the same: After years of decline, the most commonly reported STDs in the United States - chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis - are staging a comeback.

The trends in California echoed a report released Tuesday by the CDC, which said combined cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis in the us had risen for the fifth consecutive year.

About 580,000 gonorrhea and 35,000 cases of syphilis were reported past year, rivaling records set in 1991.

STDs can lead to a number of serious health problems if left untreated, including infertility, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease and vision loss. Gonorrhea cases totaled 501 and there were 95 cases of early syphilis.

"We have an STD crisis in the U.S. because prevention programs were sold short for years", says David C. Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD). "The public's health is in danger".

Syphilis also often shows no symptoms or only mild symptoms.

CDPH is collaborating with local health departments and organizations throughout the state to coordinate efforts to control STDs, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV). Chlamydia increased 56% to 232,181 cases. Gonorrhea has increased 63% since 2014 to over 583,405 cases. Those cases were up 40% from 2017, the CDC said, and 94 infants died from the infection in 2018. You can't tell if a person is infected just by how they look, sometimes there may be no visible signs.

Antibiotics can cure chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, but many people fail to get screened and treated for the diseases. No one is immune to STDs, so "don't be silly, wrap up that willy" because a few moments of being irresponsible are not worth the risk or the consequences.



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