Atl Henderson Place Apartment homes, Jerome Powell , Georgia Department of Human Resources Public Health testing for STD, TB and HIV- in a mobile testing center . AJC file photo

CDC reports rise in STDs in the United States

These are the health issues that few people want to talk about: sexually transmitted diseases.

However, a troubling new report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention released Tuesday says STDs are on the rise.

More than two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were reported in the nation in 2016, the highest number ever, according to the annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report . 

Most of new diagnoses -1.6 million-  were cases of chlamydia. Chlamydia is an infection caused by bacteria that can affect men and women.

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There were also 470,000 gonorrhea cases and almost 28,000 cases of primary and secondary syphilis – the most infectious stages of the disease. 

All three of these STDs can be cured with antibiotics. However, if  untreated, they can have serious health consequences, including infertility, life-threatening ectopic pregnancy and increased risk for HIV transmission. 


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“Increases in STDs are a clear warning of a growing threat,” Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, said in a statement. “STDs are a persistent enemy, growing in number, and outpacing our ability to respond.” 

Among tools most effective in stemming the rise is refocusing efforts by state and local health department on STD investigation and clinical service, allowing for quick detection and treatment.

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