Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report found that there were over 2.5 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reported in the United States in 2022, a 30% increase since 2018.
The increase is particularly alarming because STIs can have serious health consequences if left untreated. Chlamydia and gonorrhea, for example, can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and chronic pelvic pain. Syphilis can cause serious health problems, including blindness, dementia, and stroke.
The CDC report found that young people, women, and gay and bisexual men were most affected by the rise in STIs. In particular, the report found that chlamydia and gonorrhea rates were highest among women aged 15-24, while syphilis rates were highest among men who have sex with men.
CDC warns STI’s are on the rise
What is causing the rise?
Experts believe that the increase in STIs can be attributed to a number of factors, including decreased condom use, increased use of dating apps, and cuts to funding for public health programs.
“The rise in STIs is a public health crisis that requires urgent attention,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “We need to work together to reverse these trends and ensure that everyone has access to the tools and resources they need to protect themselves and their partners.”
To address the rise in STIs, the CDC is calling for increased funding for public health programs, increased access to testing and treatment, and increased education about STI prevention. The agency is also calling for increased use of condoms and other barrier methods during sex.
“STIs are preventable, and there are steps that everyone can take to protect themselves and their partners,” said Mermin. “Using condoms, getting tested regularly, and talking openly with partners about sexual health are all important steps in preventing the spread of STIs.”
The rise in STIs is a reminder of the importance of sexual health and the need for ongoing education and prevention efforts. With the right tools and resources, we can work together to reverse these trends and ensure that everyone has access to the information and services they need to protect themselves and their partners.