Young People Bear Brunt As CDC Releases New Rates of STDs
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their annual snapshot on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and the findings do not bode well for young people, or men who have sex with men (MSM). Statistics reveal a jump in infections of gonorrhea and syphilis.
"Youth bear a disproportionate share of sexually transmitted infections and also account for a substantial proportion of new STDs," said Dr. Eloisa Llata, Medical Epidemiologist, CDC, Division of STD Prevention, who noted that all STDs are preventable and most are curable.
Many do not know they’re infected because sexually transmitted infections often have no symptoms. Llata said that young people could protect themselves by getting tested, reducing risk behaviors and getting vaccinated against HPV.
The CDC’s annual STD report serves as an overview, summarizing the national sexually transmitted disease surveillance data for 2012, and is primarily focused on chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.
The CDC said that during the 1970’s to the late 1990’s, gonorrhea rates declined considerably and then they plateaued for about 10 years. In 2009, rates were the lowest ever recorded. But since 2009, they have seen rates of gonorrhea increase slightly each year for an overall increase of about 10 percent since 2009.
Although chlamydia rates were stable overall compared to 2011, 1.42 million cases were reported in 2012 -- the greatest number of cases for any condition ever reported to CDC. The CDC continued to see increases in gonorrhea rates by four percent from 2011-2012, with higher increases in men.
"An overall increase of 12 percent in reported syphilis cases from 2011 to 2012 were seen, in large part contributed by increases in men who have sex with men," said Llata.
A similar increase of infections among men was found when tracking both primary, secondary and congenital syphilis. After seeing declines of primary and secondary syphilis during the 1990’s, rates began to increase in 2001. There was a slight decrease in 2010 and rates in 2011 were unchanged from 2010.