Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its annual report, Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2015. The data for the report was based on case reports from various private and public health facilities.

The most alarming news from the report was the data showing marked increases in three common sexually transmitted infections (STIs), chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.

  • Chlamydia had 1,526,658 cases reported in 2015, an increase of 6% since 2014.
  • Gonnorhea had 395,216 cases reported in 2015, an increase of 13% since 2014.
  • Primary and secondary Syphilis had 23,872 case reported in 2015, an increase of 19% since 2014.
  • Congenital syphilis (infection acquired by a developing baby from its infected mother) had 487 cases reported in 2015, an increase of 6% since 2014.

The CDC estimates nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur each year in the United States. Young people aged 15-24 acquire half of these new infections. Health care costs in treating these infections add up to almost $16 billion. Several other infections such as herpes simplex virus, trichomoniasis, and human papillomavirus are not routinely reported and therefore the true picture of the impact of STIs within the country is incomplete.

The report also highlighted a troubling rise in syphilis infections among men, particularly those who are gay or bisexual. Of the primary and secondary syphilis cases that were reported in men, 82% were in men who have sex with men. Some public health experts feel that the reported rise in cases of syphilis is in part driven by the increasing popularity of “hooking-up” apps, such as Grindr. (Kazan and Berman)

“We have reached a decisive moment for the nation,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “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.”

Screening for STIs is a critical strategy for reducing the trend in rising infection rates. Sexually active women under 25 , or women who have new or multiple sex partners should request annual chlamydia and gonorrhea testing. Pregnant women should request syphilis, HIV, chlamydia and hepatitis B testing early in pregnancy and for women who have new or multiple sex partners, should request gonorrhea testing early in pregnancy. Gay and bisexual men who are sexually active should request syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV testing at least annually, if not every 6 months.

Clarity testing clinic specializes in the testing and treatment of STIs. In addition to excellent medical care, our medical professionals provide a listening ear and positive guidance to those in need of STI testing and treatment. Patients are made aware of the possibilities available to them and helped to find a path that doesn’t lead back to the testing clinic. Make an appointment today by visiting our Appointment Page or calling 812-418-3230.