The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a routine study on STDs and the findings are alarming.
There were 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis diagnosed in the US last year, according to preliminary data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It marks a record high for the country and the fourth year in a row of “steep, sustained increases” in these three infections, according to a CDC press release.
From 2013 to 2017, gonorrhea diagnoses increased by 67% and nearly doubled in men, syphilis diagnoses increased by 76%, and chlamydia remained the most common condition reported to the CDC.
And if that’s not enough to shock you into to celibacy, what theinsider.com reported on next will give you a reason to start thinking about it — or at least protect yourself at all cost.
The CDC’s press release also notes the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea— sometimes called “super gonorrhea.” Such gonorrhea has become resistant to “nearly every class of antibiotics” once used to treat it, the release said.
There have been no cases of untreatable gonorrhea in the US so far, but lab tests have shown “emerging resistance” to one of the antibiotics shown to be effective against the infection, the release added.
“We expect gonorrhea will eventually wear down our last highly effective antibiotic, and additional treatment options are urgently needed,” Dr. Gail Bolan, the director of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, said in the release. “We can’t let our defenses down.”
Theinsider.com article gives information on how we can better protect ourselves against STDs and HIV but we would like to add that men who have sex with men, people who have multiple sexual partners, and those who do not use protection while having sex go get tested frequently if not every other month at least every three months.
If you’re having sex, regular STD tests help protect your health. The CDC’s website has a quiz to help you determine which STD tests you may need, but the basic recommendations are as follows:
- Everyone ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV. People who have unprotected sex or who share injection drug equipment should get tested at least once yearly.
- Women younger than 25 (and older women with certain risk factors) should get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea once a year.
- All men who have sex with other men should get tested for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea at least once a year but more frequently if they have sex with multiple or anonymous partners.
- All pregnant women should get tested for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B.
The best way to deal with the threat of STDs is to prevent them in the first place.
There are a few ways to lower your risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases, including reducing your number of sexual partners, being monogamous, and abstaining from sex. There are vaccines for the sexually transmitted hepatitis B and HPV, though the HPV shot is recommended only for women up to age 26 and men up to age 21.
Finally, you can use condoms, which are “highly effective” for reducing the spread of STDs when used properly, according to the CDC. Just make sure the condoms you’re using haven’t hit their expiration date. Expired condoms are more likely to break. Don’t try to recycle them, either; the CDC recently warned that reusing condoms rendered them ineffective.