STDs Hit Record High in California

STDs Hit Record High in California

STDs Hit Record High in California

Sexually transmitted disease rates are at an all-time high in California, according to new data from the California Department of Public Health.

In 2017, the number of California residents diagnosed with gonorrhea (over 13,000 cases), chlamydia (over 75,000 cases) or syphilis (over 218,000 cases) hit a consecutive three-year record, according to the California Department of Public Health.

In California, chlamydia rates among women were 60 percent higher than among males, and 54 percent of cases were in people under the age of 25. Gonorrhea cases saw a 16 percent increase in the same time frame but affected twice as many men than women.

Officials revealed that there were 30 stillbirths linked to congenital syphilis in 2017, the highest reported since 1995.

Another 278 babies were born with the infection, which can cause severe health problems including premature birth, low birth weight, birth defects, blindness and hearing loss. Chlamydia and gonorrhea rates are highest among people under 30.

Washington state health officials said many factors went into the rate rising, but it was partially a lack of knowledge and access to care. She also cited the importance of regular testing and treatment for people who are sexually active, even for those who do not have symptoms.

A table depicts the number of gonorrhea cases reported in L.A. County from 2012 to 2017. "The internet allows for a broadening of sexual networks, and the broader that gets the more opportunity you have for sexually transmitted diseases to spread".

Klausner placed much of the blame for the overall STD spike on what he called the "decimation" of public health infrastructure since the 2008 financial crisis.

"We've known how to control syphilis since early 1900's".

That latter stat is particularly troubling to public health officials given the long-term dangers of untreated syphilis, which can cause brain damage.

Bauer also suggested the rise in STDs may be a symptom of more general problems in areas such as the economically hard-hit San Joaquin Valley where people are struggling with poverty, substance abuse, mental health issues and homelessness.

"STDs are preventable by consistently using condoms, and many STDs can be cured with antibiotics", CDPH Director Dr. Karen Smith said in a statement.

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