With state and local STD prevention and treatment programs threatened, federal health officials worry the rates will continue to climb.
Cases of sexually transmitted diseases are at an all-time high, according to new data released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with California coming in the top 20 spots.
In 2015, the CDC recorded more than 1.5 million new cases of chlamydia, nearly 400,000 cases of gonorrhea and nearly 24,000 cases of syphilis, the three most common STDs. In California, there were nearly 200,000 new cases of chlamydia, nearly 54,000 cases of gonorrhea and nearly 5,000 cases of syphilis. The syphilis rate of infection was nearly twice that of the national average, according to the new data.
Teens and young adults ages 15 to 24 account for nearly two-thirds of diagnosed cases of chlamydia and half of gonorrhea cases.
“We have reached a decisive moment for the nation,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “STD rates are rising, and many of the country’s systems for preventing STDs have eroded. We must mobilize, rebuild and expand services – or the human and economic burden will continue to grow.”
STDs cost the U.S. healthcare system nearly $16 billion a year, according to the CDC. And chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are curable with antibiotics, but most STD cases go undiagnosed and untreated. That puts those infected at greater risk for serious health threats, including infertility, chronic pain and HIV infection.
Federal health officials are sounding the alarm as state and local governments nationwide address budget challenges by cutting STD prevention and treatment resources. More than 20 STD clinics have closed within one year, according to the CDC.
“STD prevention resources across the nation are stretched thin, and we’re beginning to see people slip through the public health safety net,” Mermin said. “Turning the STD epidemics around requires bolstering prevention efforts and addressing new challenges – but the payoff is substantial in terms of improving health, reducing disparities and saving billions of dollars.”
State and local data from the STD survey, according to the CDC:
|Chlamydia||Cases||Rate per 100K|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||68,285||514.9|
|Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA||20,778||467.8|
|San Diego-Carlsbad, CA||17,378||532.5|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||23,519||511.9|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||6,898||353.2|
|California (State ranked 17th)||189,170||487.5|
|Gonorrhea||Cases||Rate per 100K|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||19,867||149.8|
|Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA||4,904||110.4|
|San Diego-Carlsbad, CA||3,691||113.1|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||9,330||203.1|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||1,857||95.1|
|California (State ranked 14th)||54,135||139.5|
|Primary and Secondary Syphilis||Cases||Rate per 100K|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||1,832||13.8|
|Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA||341||7.7|
|San Diego-Carlsbad, CA||493||15.1|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||830||18.1|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||134||6.9|
|California (State ranked third)||4,908||12.6|