The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced an alarming increase in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Cases of three STDs – Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis — have increased for the first time since 2006. In 2014, 1.4 million cases of chlamydia were reported – a 2.8 percent increase from the year before. That is “the highest number of cases of any STD ever reported to the CDC.”
While STDs affect young people and women most severely — two thirds of the chlamydia and gonorrhea cases are aged 15 to 24 — syphilis rates were highest among gay and bisexual men. Dr. Gail Bolan, director of CDC’s Division of STD prevention, points out that STDs are preventable and treatable but access to STD clinics are diminishing. “About 7 percent of health department have closed STD clinics,” and more than 40 percent have reduced clinic hours.