STDs on the Rise

Americans have taken one step forward and two steps back in the battle against sexually transmitted diseases.

Federal health officials reported that gonorrhea rates in the US have increased for the last two years. The STD has been on the decrease since the 1970s, however now affects more than 360,000 Americans.

Gonorrhea rates are highest in the South, where doctors have said poverty and poor health and preventative care flourish.

The American Social Health Association released new figures on STDs this week in an effort to increase public awareness. The group is also focusing on the elimination of syphilis from the US. Syphilis rates were record low last year. However, there were specific outbreaks among gay men in Los Angeles and Seattle.

The first national survey on human papilloma virus revealed that it is the most common sexually transmitted infection among young, sexually active people. There are more than 29 types of the virus, which can cause genital warts, cancer of the cervix, penis and anus.

Chlamydia bacteria is the most frequently reported infectious disease, with 254.1 cases per 100,000 infected. Doctors suspect both Chlamydia and HPV are underreported. An estimated three million Americans are infected with chlamydia each year, however there are very few symptoms. Many do not realize they have become infected, further propagating the STD.

Information from The New York Times

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