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Cases of Sexually Transmitted Disease in the US Reached Record High Last Year

Oct 20, 2016 05:41 AM EDT

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that the reported cases of sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the United States last 2015 have reached the highest number ever.

According to the annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report released by the CDC, more than 1.5 million cases of Chlamydia, the most common STD and considered to be one of the three most commonly reported conditions in the US, in 2015. Chlamydia is followed by gonorrhea and syphilis, with nearly 400,000 and nearly 24,000 reported cases respectively.

"We're very concerned about these unprecedented high numbers of cases of STIs in the United States," said Gail Bolan, director of the CDC's Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention, in a report from The Verge. "These new number are making it really clear that many Americans are not getting the preventive services they need."

CDC officials are attributing the current increasing trend of STD to the budget cuts in national and local STD programs. Chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea can easily be treated with antibiotics. However, recent state and local budget cuts forced more than 20 health department STD clinics to close in one year alone, making it completely difficult for those in need of service to be tested and treated right away.

In just a year, the reported cases of syphilis have increased by 19 percent. The number of reported cases of gonorrhea and Chlamydia has also increased by 12.8 percent and 5.9 percent respectively.

"We have reached a decisive moment for the nation," said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, in a press release. "STD rates are rising, and many of the country's systems for preventing STDs have eroded. We must mobilize, rebuild and expand services - or the human and economic burden will continue to grow."

CDC noted that most STDs can continue without being diagnosed or treated and can ultimately lead to severe and often irreversible health outcomes, including infertility, chronic pain and increased risk of HIV. Furthermore, STDs can also be considered as serious economic burden, costing the health care system about $16 billion annually.

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