NPR: Record High Number Of STD Infections In U.S., As Prevention Funding Declines

A tinted transmission electron micrograph of Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria (light purple/black) inside a cell. Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S., with more than 1.7 million reported cases in 2017. Biomedical Imaging Unit, Southampton General Hospital/Science Source

August 28, 20184:04 PM ET

RICHARD HARRIS

For the fourth year in a row, federal health officials report that there has been a sharp increase in sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tallied nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in 2017 — an increase of 200,000 cases over the previous year, and a record high.

Chlamydia, a bacterial infection, remained the most common sexually transmitted disease, with more than 1.7 million reported cases. But health officials are concerned that gonorrhea cases increased a startling 67 percent between 2013 and 2017, and syphilis climbed even faster — 76 percent over those four years.

After many years of success in controlling sexually transmitted diseases, “We’ve been sliding backwards,” says Dr. Gail Bolan, director of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention. She spoke at a news conference in Washington Tuesday.

“The U.S. continues to have the highest STD rates in the industrialized world,” says David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, “and it preys on the most vulnerable among us.”

“Here’s a quote for members of the media,” Harvey said at the press conference. “Ready? It is time that President Trump and Secretary [of Health and Human Services Alex] Azar declare STDs in America a public health crisis.”

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Record High Number Of STD Infections In U.S., As Prevention Funding Declines
Article Name
Record High Number Of STD Infections In U.S., As Prevention Funding Declines
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For the fourth year in a row, federal health officials report that there has been a sharp increase in sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tallied nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in 2017 — an increase of 200,000 cases over the previous year, and a record high.