America Keeps Breaking Records When It Comes To STDs

Science | By Julio Childress | August 29, 2018

One of the most painfully awkward experiences for young people is the day they receive sexual education. Hearing adults talk about the subjects of intercourse, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted disease can be difficult, especially when that person is your parent. This awkwardness often leads to skipping the conversation all together.

Although it may be uncomfortable to talk about, and at times confusing, it's extremely important to have these discussions. Sex is a normal part of human life, and that's not even considering the concept of recreational sex. Even if you're procreating for child-bearing purposes, being aware of STDs and sexual risks is paramount.

Recent findings by the Center For Disease Control and Prevention should have many of us worried in regards to sexual health. One would think that STD numbers would be lower considering our increased access to information, but the numbers state otherwise. 2016 was a high point for sexually transmitted diseases. Read on to find out more.

The Study Showed an Increase in STDs in 2016

The report was released by the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention on August 28th, 2018, focusing on the data from the 106 year. The study found that the most common STDs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis had more than two million people infected. If that sounds like an all time high, it's because it is. While STDs had been on the decline previously, 2016 marked the third year in a row where the numbers for overall STDs had increased.

The number one most common STD was reported as being chlamydia, which is luckily curable, though some incurable forms of the disease have been discovered to recently exist. The amount of Chlamydia cases is staggering. To put it in perspective, there were 1.6 million cases of Chlamydia in 2016, and those are just the reported cases.

What To Make of the Results

While the results are disheartening, it's important to note that we have far better methods of detecting, testing, and screening for STDs, especially Chlamydia, which only started being recorded in 2000. This isn't to say that the numbers shouldn't be worrying. Jonathan Mermin, the CDC's direction for the National Center for HIV/AIDS, VIral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention said: "Increases in STDs are a clear warning of a growing threat. STDs are a persistent enemy, growing in number, and outpacing our ability to respond."

One of the big worries is that syphilis had been at a record low in 2001, yet now the rates of that specific STD are back to where they were in 1993. It's also troubling that antibiotics for gonorrhea are becoming less and less effective. There are currently only two antibiotics left that can battle the disease.

A Deeper Look Into the Numbers and What We Can Do

Let's take a deeper look into the numbers and what we can do to prevent the rise of STDs. The demographic most likely to contract STDs are homosexual men, and young people ages to 15 to 24 account for half of the new cases of STDs. Interestingly, women lead the stats for chlamydia cases, and black people are more likely to be diagnosed with chlamydia (eight time more likely, in fact). The states with the highest STD rates are Louisiana and Mississippi.

Luckily there are ways to help prevent the spread of STDs. Although abstinence is the only one-hundred percent safe method for not contracting STDs, there are ways to practice safe sex, and if you are having sex, you should screen yourself for STDs regularly. Many STDs can be treated very easily, so it is better to catch them early before complications arise.



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