READER DISCRETION | Disturbing report details causes of STD epidemic
(Julie Washington, The Plain Dealer) The highest number ever of some sexually transmitted diseases were reported in the United States in 2016, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That included more than 2 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. STDs are rapidly growing among women, infants and homosexual men.
The increase is a serious threat because sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth and increased risk for HIV transmission if left untreated.
“STDs are a persistent enemy, growing in number and outpacing our ability to respond,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention.
The majority of new STD cases last year were chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. All three respond to antibiotics, but there is a growing threat of drug-resistant gonorrhea.
Why are hundreds of infants getting sexually transmitted diseases?
The CDC also reported a 28 percent increase in syphilis among newborns – also called congenital syphilis. The 600 cases of congenital syphilis resulted in 40 deaths and health complications that could have been prevented through screenings and treatment for pregnant women.
“It’s really unfortunate that (congenital syphilis) is on the rise,” Edwards said. “It is devastating to newborn babies.”
While a pregnant woman’s first doctor visit usually includes STD testing, many poor and young women don’t get prenatal care. Women who refuse the standard STD screening during delivery miss another chance for the disease to be found.
A lack of health insurance and the decreasing number of clinics also contributes to the problem of women who lack prenatal care. “It’s a mess and the rise in congenital syphilis is the consequence,” she said.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) make up most of the syphilis cases, and half of the MSM diagnosed with syphilis also had HIV. READ THE FULL STORY AT CLEVELAND.COM.