STD Rates Hits Record Highs, California Near the Top

New federal data released shows the number of Americans diagnosed with chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis reached a record high in 2016 for the second year in a row.

Health officials say the sexually transmitted diseases have been growing in case loads since 2014 and it's in part to the decrease of condom usage.

Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, Dr. Johnathan Mermin says a lack of awareness about STDs among doctors and patients is also to blame.

“Increases in STDs are a clear warning of a growing threat. STDs are a persistent enemy, growing in number, and outpacing our ability to respond.”

All three diseases are curable, but many leave it untreated because they don't have symptoms which can cause infertility or other serious health problems.

Director of the California Department of Public Health Dr. Karen Smith says California is the nation's second-highest rates of congenital syphilis. 

“The number of reported STDs in California is increasing at a concerning rate. This is the third year in a row that we have seen increases in chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.”

CDC division of STD prevention director Dr. Gail Bolan says the increase in gonorrhea rates was of concerning because more strains are growing resistant to antibiotics.

"We're down to our last class of antibiotics that we have available to treat gonorrhea. In the past, we just moved on to the next class of antibiotics, but we're now on the edge. ... We want to make sure we keep the threat of these potentially resistant strains at a low level."

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