STD rates are on the rise in the U.S. Health officials are now searching for new solutions for prevention efforts and new treatment protocols. Syphilis cases have increased by 26% since last year, which is the highest in 20 years. At the same time, HIV cases have increased by 16% since last year. Gonorrhea has increased over the years as well.
“We are sliding backward,” Dr. Jonathan Mermin, the director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, said. “It is evident the systems that identify, treat, and ultimately prevent STDs are strained to near-breaking point.”
Health officials are calling the current STD situation “out of control.” Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia cases reached a record high for four consecutive years. In 2017, nearly 2.3 million individuals diagnosed cases of the three STDs, a 200,000 increase compared to 2016.
“It is imperative that we…work to rebuild, innovate, and expand (STD) prevention in the U.S.,” Dr. Leandro Mena of the U.S. CDC said during a medical conference on sexually transmitted diseases.
According to the CDC, STDs in the U.S. decreased during the pandemic in the early months but resurged by the end of 2020. Unfortunately, there was no guarantee the numbers were accurate then because STD screening and diagnosis likely decreased during the pandemic.