Good news everyone! By good news, I actually mean shitty news. Thems the breaks.
According to numbers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of new gonorrhea cases rose 4 percent in 2012 from the year before, while syphilis jumped 11 percent. Chlamydia is apparently still the #1 most common bacterial sexually transmitted diseases, though the rate of chlamydia rose but a mere 1%.
This somewhat meteoric rise lead to a rate of 107.5 out of 100,000 cases for gonorrhea and 5 out of 100,000 people for syphilis. This is both costly ($16 billion a year) and very sad for those contracting these diseases, especially if they go untreated. Bloomberg reports that:
People ages 15 to 24 account for more than half of the annual cases of gonorrhea and chlamydia, the report showed. Though young men and young women are affected, undiagnosed STDs cause an estimated 24,000 women to become infertile yearly.
In this day and age with all this information and antibiotic cures to all three diseases, how is this happening? Well, people don’t know they have it, are asymptomatic and spread it around. No one is getting tested enough or “as recommended” in the words of Gail Bolan, director of the CDC’s STD prevention division who knows that simply recommending that people get tested isn’t enough.
“We know that having access to high-quality health care is important to controlling and reducing STDs. Some of our more-vulnerable populations don’t have access. There are a number of men who come in to our clinic for confidential services because they’re too embarrassed to see their primary care doctors.”
Stigma concerning sexually transmitted diseases is huge, but there are so many other factors that also keep people from getting tested. We need to find a way to make safe sex easier to access for everyone everywhere. We’re supposed to get tested yearly or before we get down with new partners, but it’s hard when you don’t know where to go, can’t get there and are too ashamed to ask for STD screenings. I won’t even get into homophobia right now.
Hopefully we figure this out soon before #gonorrhea and #syphilis become trending topics. It’s not like anyone’s about to use condoms or anything.
via Bloomberg//image via Shutterstock