"We must mobilize, rebuild and expand services - or the human and economic burden will continue to grow", explained Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC's National Center for STD prevention in the press release.
A total of 1.5 million chlamydia infections were reported in 2015, up by half a million cases in the last 10 years.
The CDC pointed to deteriorating public health infrastructure and slashed public health budgets as a major reason for the rising number of STD cases.
According to a congressional briefing last April by Dr. Gail Bolan, the director for the CDC Division of STD Prevention, over 40 percent of health departments reduced clinic hours, screening, or tracing people who may have been infected.
Gay and bisexual men account for numerous new cases, and the biggest numbers are among young adults, especially those in their late teens and early 20s. Syphilis among women increased by more than 27 per cent a year ago, but females still account for less than 10 per cent of new P&S syphilis infections. Thus, how much of the 20% increase is a result of more testing and better testing?
The health monitoring agency said there is a troubling increase in syphilis among newborns with 430 babies born with the disease.
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Most of the new gonorrhea and syphilis cases were among gay men, although rates are climbing for women, too.
One and a half million cases of chlamydia were reported in 2015.
Young people are getting hit especially hard, with people ages 15 to 24 receiving nearly two-thirds of chlamydia diagnoses and half of gonorrhea diagnoses. "Our ability to prevent STDs is only as strong as the public health infrastructure to support it", he says. STDs can lead to chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. But in recent years, some strains of gonorrhea are becoming drug-resistant or continue to thrive in the presence of an antibiotic.
People are urged to use condoms and limit the number of their sexual partners to avoid STDs, and get screened regularly in order to receive treatment as soon as possible. The CDC estimates that almost 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year in this country, accounting for approximately $16 billion in health care costs.
Besides incurring high healthcare costs, STDs can have devastating health consequences, including stroke, miscarriage, stillbirth, and congenital infection. Pregnant women should be screened for STD as part of routine medical and prenatal care. Syphilis can make a person more prone to HIV infection, according to the CDC.