Sunday, 23 September, 2018


Reported STD Cases Reach New High in California, Health Officials Find

A table depicts the number of gonorrhea cases reported in L.A. County from 2012 to 2017 A table depicts the number of gonorrhea cases reported in L.A. County from 2012 to 2017
Patty Aguilar | 15 May, 2018, 22:11

The state recorded more than 300,000 cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and early syphilis in 2017, marking a 45 percent increase from the numbers five years ago.

A new report finds that the number of reported sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases in California reached a record high in 2017-and public health officials are particularly concerned about a sharp rise in stillbirths related to congenital syphilis. "And for gay men and other men who have sex with men and trans persons, they should have STD screening every three months", said Dr. Susan Philip from the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Therefore, in order to educate people and spread awareness about the alarming risks of STD, the health officials are now working with schools, community groups as well as youth organisations across California. If left untreated, Chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain. The report found that there were 30 stillbirths due to congenital syphilis in 2017, with a total of 278 congenital syphilis cases.

The data, which was compiled by the California Department of Public Health, revealed chlamydia and gonorrhea to be most rampant among people under 30, with rates of chlamydia highest among young women. This is the highest number reported since 1995.

Dr Heidi Bauer, chief of the state health department's STD Control Branch, agreed that budget issues are part of the problem.

There is a clinic at Kern Public Health.

She estimated that about $20 million in state and federal money is allocated yearly to fighting STDs - a small number in a state with almost 40 million residents.

Klausner said that sexual health - and money for education about sexual health - isn't something people like to talk about. The cases of syphilis and gonorrhoea are more common among men.

"While there are advocates and champions for cancer, nobody is out there saying, 'I have gonorrhea and these are the best ways to treat it.' There's no one out there being a champion for these conditions."

Washington state health officials said many factors went into the rate rising, but it was partially a lack of knowledge and access to care.

"STDs are preventable by consistently using condoms, and many STDs can be cured with antibiotics", said CDPH Director Dr. Karen Smith.

A table depicts the number of gonorrhea cases reported in L.A. County from 2012 to 2017.

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