- Sexually transmitted disease rates are at an all-time high, CDC's latest STD surveillance report shows.
- Rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis — the three most commonly reported STDs—all increased in 2015 and chlamydia had the highest number of reported cases (1.5 million), while syphilis showed the most increase — a 19% increase from the previous year.
- CDC estimates that about 20 million new STD infections occur each year, accounting for close to $16 billion in healthcare costs.
Gail Bolen, director of CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, noted about 21 local health department STD clinics closed last year, leaving many people without access to screening and treatment.
Ready to fill the gap are companies that offer mail-in STD tests, MarketWatch reports. It cites, for example, a $199 kit by GetTested that screens for seven STDs, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis.
The World Health Organization (WHO) updated its treatment guidelines for these three diseases in August in response to the international healthcare issue of antibiotic resistance as the effectiveness of traditional treatments has begun to decline.
However, providers still have some options to help reduce STD cases. CDC urges providers to make STD screening a standard part of medical care, especially in pregnant women, and make it easy for patients, particularly young people, to get access to information about STDs.