You never expect to read good things in a report about sexually transmitted diseases (STD), but the information released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is, well, brace yourselves:
The annual report on chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea in the United States shows the number of reported cases for all three STDs increased last year for the first time since 2006. The three conditions are contracted by skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who is infected, and all three can be treated with antibiotics.
But chlamydia is the star of this unfortunate show: There were more than 1.4 million cases of Chlamydia reported in 2014, which is the highest number of cases of any condition ever reported to the CDC. Yikes, indeed.
If left untreated, chlamydia can cause permanent damage to a woman's reproductive system and make it difficult or even impossible to get pregnant. Because of this and the fact that chlamydia symptoms in men can be difficult to spot, it's important for sexually-active women to get screened regularly.
Here are the CDC's numbers for all three STDs:
- Chlamydia: 1,441,789 reported cases in 2014, a 2.8 percent increase from 2013.
- Primary and secondary syphilis: 19,999 reported cases in 2014, a 15 percent increase from 2013.
- Gonorrhea: 350,062 reported cases in 2014, a 5 percent increase from 2013.
The CDC also notes that the most reported chlamydia and gonorrhea infections occur in people ages 15 to 24, but having protected sex and talking to your doctor about getting screened is crucial for anyone who is sexually active.
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