California hit record numbers of new infections of sexually transmitted diseases in 2017, with almost 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, according to a report by the state health department and published Monday.
Here are the numbers: from 2013 to 2017, the rate of Chlamydia cases per 10,000 people has increased from 417 to 534, Gonorrhea from 64 to 136, and Early Syphilis from not even 1 to 32. New at-home kit promises to be the Amazon of STD testingThat's a 45 percent increase compared to five years ago.
See the CDPH's breakdown of the data here.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea rates among African-Americans were almost five times higher than caucasians, CDPH found. African-Americans reported more than twice the rate for early syphilis than caucasians. Gonorrhea cases saw a 16 percent increase in the same time frame but affected twice as many men than women.
According to the state report, officials are most concerned about an uptick in the number of stillbirths due to congenital syphilis. "We all need to keep making the public aware of and encourage sexually-active individuals to get tested for STDs on a regular basis-and be treated, if and as necessary-and to also use tools like condoms to prevent or reduce the likelihood of infections".
In terms of which STD Butte County has the most of, that answer is Chlamydia.
Klausner pointed to the nations of Cuba, Thailand and Belarus, which have virtually eliminated syphilis cases among infants, the AP reported.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea rates are highest among people under age 30.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are most common among people under 30, the report said, warning that rates of the diseases may be indicators of a struggling public health system. "Seeing it come back like this is a sign of failure of the public health safety net", Dr. Jeffery Klausner, a professor of medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles, told the Associated Press. This was the highest number the state recorded since reporting began in 1990.
Officials blame lack of STD awareness, decreasing number of clinics and less frequent condom usage for the rates, the L.A. Times reported. In 2017, there were 278 stillbirths and 47 babies born with congenital syphilis in LA.
Transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy or delivery, congenital syphilis can lead to premature birth, low birth weight, blindness, hearing loss and birth defects, among other issues, according to CDPH.