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STD Cases Are Shooting Up, CDC Report

Update Date: Nov 20, 2015 10:38 AM EST
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Since 2006, the number of sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases in the U.S. have shot up, especially for illnesses such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis, according to the Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2014 report  It was disclosed on Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The reasons for the rise in the number of STDs is thought to be due to heavy cuts in government funds. A number of local health departments have shut down their clinics, even as others are operated for fewer hours. The rising costs of treatment have driven people away from the clinics.

Data shows that the number of patients affected by the main STDs in 2014 include: "1,441,789 reported cases of chlamydia, a 2.8 percent increase since 2003 and equivalent to 456.1 cases for every 100,000 people; 350,062 reported cases of gonorrhea, a 5.1 percent increase since 2003 and equivalent to 110.7 cases for every 100,000 people; and 19,999 reported cases of syphilis, a 15.1 percent increase since 2003 and equivalent to 6.3 cases for every 100,000 people," according to HNGN.

Meanwhile, the numbers affected by congenital syphilis has risen by 27.5 percent since 2013, even as 458 cases were reported in 2014, while there were 11.6 cases for every 100,000 of those affected.

Last year, those who were in the range of 15 to 24 years showed the largest number of chlamydia and gonorrhea infections. Surveys show that young people fall in the range of 50 percent of the 20 million STD cases every year.

Young people are not tested for STDs, even though it is recommended that they should undergo a test every year. Many are not even aware that they have been infected.

"The consequences of STDs are especially severe for young people," Dr. Gail Bolan, lead researcher and director of the CDC's Division of STD Prevention, said in a press release. "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."

STDs tend to affect women and young people. But a number of men are also affected by it. The highest increase in the number of syphilis cases could be pinpointed on gay and bisexuals---almost 83 percent of men are said to be affected by syphilis.

"We are concerned that most of the surging rates are among men," Bolan told HealthDay. "Men are driving these increases. There is an urgent need to tackle the increases we are seeing."

Annual screening for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis is required for sexually active gay and bisexual men, according to CDC.

"Most recently, there have been significant erosions of state and local STD control programs," Bolan told NBC News."Most people don't recognize that the direct clinical care of individuals with sexually transmitted diseases is supported by state and local funds and federal funds."

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