Sexually transmitted disease epidemic worsening in US

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CHICAGO (AP) — A U.S. sexually transmitted diseases epidemic is increasing and the most common infection, chlamydia, has risen to record levels, government officials say.

Reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis all increased in 2014. Chlamydia cases had dipped in 2013, but last year’s total of more than 1.4 million — or 456 cases per 100,000 — was the highest number of annual cases of any condition ever reported to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The chlamydia rate was up almost 3 percent from 2013, the CDC reported Tuesday.

Sexually transmitted diseases are among more than 70 diseases that are reportable to the CDC, including measles, chickenpox and tuberculosis. Flu is reported differently, by hospitalizations.

“America’s worsening STD epidemic is a clear call for better diagnosis, treatment, and prevention,” said the CDC’s Dr. Jonathan Mermin.

Gonorrhea cases totaled 350,062, up 5 percent from 2013, and the most contagious forms of syphilis jumped 15 percent to 20,000. As in previous years, the syphilis increase was mainly in gay and bisexual men.

Most gonorrhea and chlamydia infections were in 15- to 24-year-olds, an ongoing trend. Both can cause infertility in women but can be treated with antibiotics. They often have no symptoms, and while yearly screening is recommended for sexually active women younger than 25, many don’t get tested and infections go untreated, the CDC said.

Follow AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner on Twitter.

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Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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  • ladybugavenger November 17, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Is that because of Charlie Sheen?

  • GrandmaB November 18, 2015 at 7:42 am

    As long as we treat sex like it is a sin, masturbation like it is something our young men (or women) have to protect themselves from, in other words, continue denying it is one of the strongest of our natural, biological urges, then this country is going to continue seeing problems like this one occur. With the upsurge of stupid, stupid policies like Abstinence, Marriage Only, and, of course, the good ‘ole pill between the knees for women – we have seen just that. An increase in all of the problems that sex without education causes. Because no matter how much you tell kids they can’t, they will find a way. It’s nature. Nature will beat God every time. She is stronger. Now, I wonder why God made it that way?

  • Common Sense November 18, 2015 at 9:03 am

    In this day in age lack of education in my opinion is NOT a contributing factor. What exactly are people lacking education wise? From a young age it is pounded into our heads that sex leads to pregnancy and STD’s. The real problem is that parents are teaching their children that they can do anything they want with no repercussions.

  • .... November 18, 2015 at 9:45 am

    When Mormons get STD”s is that God’s will ?

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