Health Screenings Needed to Curb STD Rise

sexually transmitted disease, STD, health screening, pregnancy, women, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilisSexually transmitted diseases are affecting more people than ever, hitting a record high, national statistics show.

More than two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were reported in 2016, according to a report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s a sobering reminder that anyone who is sexually active should be screened and tested for STDs because they may be infected but have no symptoms. Left untreated, STDs can have devastating health consequences. They can take away a woman’s ability to get pregnant, cause a stillborn death or lead to a dangerous ectopic pregnancy. They also increase a person’s risk to become infected with HIV.

Roughly 75 percent of the diagnoses in 2016 were chlamydia, a common STD that infects both men and women. About 22 percent of the new STD cases were gonorrhea, while the remaining were cases of primary and secondary syphilis.

Fortunately, taking antibiotics cures all three of these STDs.

“Increases in STDs are a clear warning of a growing threat,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “STDs are a persistent enemy, growing in number, and outpacing our ability to respond.”

+ Contact your health provider for screening information.