STD Rates Skyrocket Over Previous Years, CDC Data Shows

Rates for three STDs that were at historic lows just a few years ago are now rising sharply, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Posted: Aug 28, 2018 2:33 PM
Updated: Aug 28, 2018 2:39 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The rates of three major sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are rising rapidly among Americans over the last several years, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released on Tuesday.

STD data from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) tends to agree, both overall and broken down by the Southern Oregon counties—proving that our area is no exception to the rule.

The CDC report found that health professionals reported nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in the U.S. throughout 2017—a record high, and one that surpasses the previous record set in 2016 by over 200,000 cases.

Between 2013 and 2017, cases of gonorrhea increased by 67 percent, and flourished with astonishing speed among women, according to the CDC.

Cases of primary and secondary syphilis increased 76 percent, with the majority of those cases found among men having sexual contact with other men. Primary and secondary syphilis are the most infectious stages of the disease, according to the CDC.

Chlamydia remained the most common STD reported to the CDC, with more than 1.7 million cases diagnosed in 2017. Nearly half of those diagnoses came from women between the ages of 15 and 24.

“We are sliding backward,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “It is evident the systems that identify, treat, and ultimately prevent STDs are strained to near-breaking point.”

Although all three of these conditions are curable with antibiotics, many cases go undiagnosed and untreated—potentially leading to severe health effects.

Moreover, the threat of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea has become of increasing concern to health experts. Although gonorrhea has traditionally been treated with ceftriaxone and azithromycin, lab results have found more and more examples of gonorrhea strains that are resistant to one or both of the drugs.

“We expect gonorrhea will eventually wear down our last highly effective antibiotic, and additional treatment options are urgently needed,” said Gail Bolan, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of STD Prevention. “We can’t let our defenses down — we must continue reinforcing efforts to rapidly detect and prevent resistance as long as possible.”

Within the state of Oregon, recent STD data shows—while the rate of HIV remained flat or even decreased between 2006 and 2015—rates of gonorrhea that were falling in 2006 have spiked dramatically since 2010, while cases of early syphilis have risen slowly since that year.

In our local counties, the same trends are clearly visible—particularly the spike in cases of gonorrhea. Jackson County also saw 18 cases of early syphilis (the rarest of the three major conditions) by 2016, even though there were virtually no cases reported between the years 2007 and 2012.

See the sidebar for links to data broken down by the different counties.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 359733

Reported Deaths: 4295
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah56103709
Washington39002324
Marion37013454
Clackamas29983309
Lane27945302
Jackson23165310
Deschutes20559125
Umatilla14521150
Linn13048131
Douglas12196250
Josephine9430197
Yamhill8752113
Klamath8081119
Polk740581
Malheur565278
Benton555331
Coos507894
Columbia386044
Jefferson379553
Lincoln324239
Union321149
Crook293946
Wasco291141
Clatsop244728
Baker204129
Tillamook197932
Hood River194737
Morrow185723
Curry181325
Harney114427
Grant100213
Lake94812
Wallowa69312
Gilliam1564
Sherman1523
Wheeler1101
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4855616

Reported Deaths: 71443
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148576926552
Riverside3716705041
San Diego3682674196
San Bernardino3586775720
Orange3251235578
Sacramento1596362313
Kern1472941652
Fresno1463182094
Santa Clara1455431897
Alameda1206921415
San Joaquin1027761721
Ventura1010381167
Contra Costa1000181008
Stanislaus867381338
Tulare80375978
San Francisco54440649
San Mateo54168623
Monterey50911586
Solano46063341
Santa Barbara45223523
Merced42422581
Sonoma40997404
Placer39435429
Imperial36071766
Kings32938325
San Luis Obispo29973333
Madera23955285
Shasta23924354
Butte23818273
Santa Cruz21034221
Yolo20397248
Marin17706244
El Dorado17207149
Sutter13937175
Napa12898100
Yuba1011582
Tehama9534110
Humboldt9269109
Nevada916790
Mendocino766788
Lassen761848
San Benito744974
Tuolumne691790
Lake6631105
Amador547364
Siskiyou451246
Glenn438433
Calaveras391481
Del Norte358742
Colusa307618
Inyo214241
Mono16723
Plumas16607
Mariposa137017
Trinity88011
Modoc6895
Sierra1880
Unassigned1460
Alpine1050
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