STDs on the rise amongst American youth

According to a recent report released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cases of sexually transmitted diseases have hit an all time high in the United States as of 2016.

Studies show that only three main types of STDs – chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis – are accountable for the record breaking statistics, with over 1.5 million cases of chlamydia, more than 400,000 cases of gonorrhea and nearly 24,000 cases of primary and secondary strains of syphilis.

When confronted with these stats, Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention stated, “STD rates are rising, and many of the country’s systems for preventing STDs have eroded. We must mobilize, rebuild and expand services – or the human and economic burden will continue to grow.”

Due to budget cuts to state-run STD programs, over 20 health department clinics have suffered from closures. Because of this, many people continue to unknowingly suffer from STDs without the ability to get tested. This can often leads to severe health issues that are generally irreversible – persistent pain, possible infertility, and a higher risk of contracting HIV. In regards to gender-specific problems, chlamydia only shows serious side-effects in women.

Common symptoms of all three diseases includes abnormal discharge from the genitals and other orifices, as well as painful sores on or around the genital regions. Luckily, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis can all be cured with antibiotics over time.

Strikingly, the data collected shows that young Americans aged 15 to 24 years old can be held accountable for over half of the gonorrhea diagnoses and more than 65 per cent of the chlamydia diagnoses from this past year. In addition, Mermin commented that more than half of all STDs are reported in adolescents under 20 years of age. The study also showed that in regards to syphilis and gonorrhea cases, men who have sex with other men have the highest rate of diagnosis, while the rate of women diagnosed has increased by over 27 per cent since 2014.

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