A record number of Californians were diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in 2017, according to a new report released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). More than 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and early syphilis were reported: a 45 percent increase compared to five years ago.
The most concerning finding on this report was in 2017- when there were 30 stillbirths due to syphilis. Babies born with the disease, but how? This STD can be passed through the placenta from their mothers, which has more than quadrupled since 2013 to 278 last year. It can cause severe neurological problems, deformities or blindness, and death.
“STDs are preventable by consistently using condoms, and many STDs can be cured with antibiotics,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “Regular testing and treatment are very important for people who are sexually active, even for people who have no symptoms. Most people infected with an STD do not know it.”
As seen in the report, chlamydia and gonorrhea rates are highest among people under age 30. Rates of chlamydia are highest among young women, and males account for the majority of syphilis and gonorrhea cases.
Thankfully, California had a plan. They have jumped into action, with help from the state of California, and communities across the state are working together to increase awareness of STD’s. They have programs launched throughout the state on STD prevention coalitions, Comprehensive Sex Education Network’s, and STD awareness campaigns.
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