As cases of sexually transmitted diseases continue to rise in the United States, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control are now anxious about a new "untreatable" form of gonorrhea.
While primary and secondary syphilis diagnoses went up by 76 percent, chlamydia remained the most commonly reported to the CDC with almost half of the new cases occurring in females ages 15-to-24. This figure was boosted by a 45 percent increase among 15-24-year-old females. That number is 200,000 more than the previous record set in 2016.
"We are sliding backward", declared Dr. Jonathan Mermin, the CDC's director of sexually transmitted diseases.
PREVENTION TREATMENT. This trio of STDs can lead to infertility, stillbirths, ectopic pregnancies, and a host of other conditions if left untreated.
Rates of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia have climbed for the fourth consecutive year in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday at the National STD Prevention Conference in Washington.
Primary and secondary syphilis, of which there were 30,644 diagnoses in 2017, represented a 76 percent increase.
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are curable with antibiotics.
The most common condition reported to the CDC was chlamydia, with more than 1.7 cases diagnosed a year ago.
David Harvey, another CDC executive, said there was a "direct correlation" between the increase in numbers and no new funding by the federal government since 2016.
But Fraser pointed out that the solution to the rising STD problem is not going to be "treating our way out of it", and that a solid public health infrastructure is also needed.
The two-drug combination has yet to fail, but the CDC found resistance to azithromycin has increased from 1 percent in 2013 to more than 4 percent in 2017.
"Doctors are not screening and testing for STDs, and patients don't know they need to ask for that screening and treatment", he said at the briefing.
"State and local STD programs are working with effectively half the budget they had in the early 2000s", Harvey said. "If our representatives are serious about protecting American lives, they will provide adequate funding to address this crisis".