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STD Cases in 2014 Peak to Alarming Rates in the U.S., the CDC Reports

Update Date: Nov 19, 2015 11:58 AM EST
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2014 was not a good year for the sexually active. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cases of sexually transmitted disease (STDs), such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, peaked dramatically.

"America's worsening STD epidemic is a clear call for better diagnosis, treatment, and prevention," Dr. Jonathan Mermin, who is the director of the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention, said in a statement reported by the New York Daily News. "STDs affect people in all walks of life, particularly young women and men."

The federal report found that the rates of three STDs, gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis all increased from 2013 to 2014. The most common STD in 2014 was chlamydia, which increased by nearly three percent with a total number of reported cases at 1.4 million (456 cases per 100,000). This rate is the highest annual rate that the CDC has ever reported for any STD.

The rate for gonorrhea increased by five percent in 2014 to 350,062 and the rate of syphilis increased by 15 percent to 20,000. The report noted that the increase in syphilis cases was mostly seen in gay and bisexual men. 2014 marked the first time that gonorrhea and syphilis cases increased since 2006.

In terms of age, the researchers found that the majority of the reported chlamydia and gonorrhea cases were in teenagers and young adults between the ages of 15 and 24. The experts noted that this ongoing trend can pose serious health risks since the younger population tend not to get tested. When these STDS are left untreated, they can cause infertility in women.

The CDC also warned that the findings are most likely underestimating how much STDs affect people since many cases often go unreported or undiagnosed.

"Because chlamydia and gonorrhea often have no symptoms, many infections go undiagnosed and this can lead to lifelong repercussions for a woman's reproductive health, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility," Gail Bolan, M.D., director of CDC's Division of STD Prevention, explained.

The report did not uncover why these cases increased so much in 2014.

Bolan argued that the closing down of STD clinics could have contributed to the increases.

"About 7 percent of health departments have closed STD clinics," She said reported by HealthDay via Philly.com. "Over 40 percent have reduced clinic hours, and clinics have increased fees and co-pays. We are concerned that people are not getting access to the STD health services they deserve and need."

For more information on the CDC's STDs Surveillance 2014 report, click here.

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