California Sees 45-Percent Increase In STDs Over 5 Years

California Sees 45-Percent Increase In STDs Over 5 Years

California Sees 45-Percent Increase In STDs Over 5 Years

Health officials say a record number of Californians were diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease a year ago.

"More than 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and early syphilis were reported: a 45% increase compared to five years ago", wrote the authors.

See the CDPH's breakdown of the data here. Young women made up the majority of chlamydia cases; men accounted for the majority of syphilis and gonorrhea cases. Gonorrhea cases saw a 16 percent increase in the same time frame but affected twice as many men than women.

Cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and early syphilis were concentrated among those younger than 30. On the other hand, syphilis can lead to neurologic issues, loss of hearing and blindness.

Health officials said they were working with local public health agencies and community partners to enhance their capacity to investigate and reduce the spread of STDs.

Reports said Chlamydia was the most commonly reported STD, especially for people between the ages of 20 to 24. "Most people infected with an STD do not know it".

The report showed there were 218,710 cases of chlamydia and 75,450 cases of gonorrhea past year.

Washington state health officials said many factors went into the rate rising, but it was partially a lack of knowledge and access to care. This represents an average infection rate of 34.3 cases per 100,000 Californians, higher than the national average of 8.7 per 100,000. A third of all cases were reported among individuals under 25. Being diagnosed with syphilis during pregnancy can also put the unborn baby at risk of having a low birth weight, being delivered early or death (stillbirth).

Health experts have a number of theories as to why all these STDs are on the rise.

California tragically reported a three-fold increase in stillbirths from congenital syphilis, with 30 occurring in 2017.

"For California to have a steady increase in congenital syphilis is shameful", Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a professor of medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, told the Associated Press.

"STDs are preventable by consistently using condoms, and many STDs can be cured with antibiotics", CDPH Director Dr. Karen Smith said in a statement. "Regular testing and treatment are very important for people who are sexually active, even for people who have no symptoms".

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