STD Cases Just Reached a Record High in California

STD Cases Just Reached a Record High in California

On May 14, health officials stated that more than 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and early syphilis were reported in 2017.

The findings from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) show significant spikes in common STDs like gonorrhea and chlamydia between 2000 and 2017 (chlamydia rates rose 9% compared to 2016, reaching an all-time high among both males and females, while gonorrhea infections rose 16% from 2016).

California hit record numbers of new infections of sexually transmitted diseases in 2017, with almost 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, according to a report by the state health department and published Monday. That is a 45 percent increase from 2012.

CDPH is collaborating with local health departments and organizations throughout the state to raise awareness.

The most reported sexually transmitted bacterial infections in the state, chlamydia and gonorrhea typically don't have symptoms but can cause problems including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility, according to CDPH. That's "shameful", says Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a professor of medicine at University of California, Los Angeles.

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Rates for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis have been rising nationally for several years. "Most people infected with an STD do not know it". In women, it can also be passed to the baby, called congenital syphilis and can result in stillbirth, early death, or long-term infection.

The health department's director, Dr. Karen Smith, urged sexually active people to use condoms and get tested regularly. If left untreated, gonorrhea can increase chances of getting or transmitting HIV.

Syphilis is categorized as primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary- and each stage has different signs and symptoms. It can occur after direct contact with a syphilis sore during sexual intercourse. Syphilis may also cause neurological problems, as well as permanent loss of vision and hearing. African-Americans had early-syphilis rates two-times higher than whites.

In 2017 there were 30 stillbirths due to congenital syphilis, with a total of 278 congenital syphilis cases. Los Angeles County alone saw congenital syphilis cases jump from eight in 2013 to 47 a year ago. According to health officials, STDs are largely curable and can be easily prevented by taking measures to practice safe sex.

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