Reported STDs Reach Record High in California

Reported STDs Reach Record High in California

The state report says there's been a 45% increase in Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Early Syphilis in the last 5 years.

The data, which was compiled by the California Department of Public Health, revealed chlamydia and gonorrhea to be most rampant among people under 30, with rates of chlamydia highest among young women. In total, there were 75,560 cases in 2017, representing a 16 percent increase from the year before, making the rate 190.5 cases per 100,000 Californians. Since 2012, syphilis cases in Sacramento County rose by almost 40 percent, with the highest STD rates found among young people, African-Americans, and gay and bisexual men. With more than 300,000 cases of all three diseases reported in the state in 2017, researchers counted 30 stillbirths resulting from congenital syphilis. Syphilis can result in blindness, hearing loss and neurologic problems.

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

This year they also received a 3-year Syphilis grant which goes directly to educating people about the dangers of STDs and how to prevent them, and she says it has been very successful so far.

That includes a 200% increase in the rate of syphilis over the last decade and increases in chlamydia and gonorrhea as well.

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The most reported STD was chlamydia, with 218,710 cases reported in 2017.

Dr Heidi Bauer, chief of the state health department's STD Control Branch, agreed that budget issues are part of the problem.

And the numbers are rising in Butte County, especially with early Syphilis. With 13,605 recorded cases, early syphilis reached its highest rate since 1987. With a state population of almost 40 million, Bauer said it isn't enough, especially in areas struggling with poverty, substance abuse, mental health issues and homelessness. While it may be transmitted through vaginal, anal, or oral sex, it can also be passed on from a woman to her baby during childbirth.

Experts agreed that sex education in schools and programs in the community raising awareness and having a public discussion about the often stigmatized conditions.

Klausner pointed to the nations of Cuba, Thailand and Belarus, which have virtually eliminated syphilis cases among infants, the AP reported.

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