Cases of the sexually transmitted disease (STD), Chlamydia, are reported to be at an all-time high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports infections are at a record million plus new cases annually.
Along with syphilis, another sexually transmitted disease, the cases continued to rise for a third year in a row, according to 2007 data in the CDC’s annual Surveillance Report.
CDC’s Dr. John Douglas says, “These infections remain at very high levels, and frankly are unacceptably high.”
Chlamydia cases reached 1.1 million in 2007, up about seven percent from the previous year, reports Douglas, while gonorrhea cases are steady at about 355,000 cases, a high level for that disease as well.
Without treatment they can result in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) that can render a woman sterile. And STDs can be passed onto an infant. A recent CDC survey finds one in four teenage girls has a STD.
The CDC believes the increasing numbers of Chlamydia cases is actually the result of better screening, not necessarily more cases in the population.
The CDC reports to the Washington Post that only about half of infections are reported. That would mean the actual infection numbers are more like three million.
Syphilis was almost wiped out a decade ago but has been increasing since 2001. The incidents rose more than 15 percent between 2006 and 2007.
The likelihood of being HIV-positive increases if you also have syphilis.
The CDC report shows race plays a role.
Gonorrhea was 19 times more common among African-Americans than Caucasians, while Chlamydia was eight time more common and syphilis seven times more common.
Altogether the cost of sexually transmitted diseases is estimated to be more than $15 billion annually.
How to protect yourself? Delaying sexual activity is the only way to ensure safety. Using condoms helps, as does being careful about your sexual partner.
Young, sexually active women should schedule regular Chlamydia screening and for those in a high-risk group, screening for all of the STDs is advised. #