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The number of sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. has continued to rise for the fifth straight year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with officials pointing to drug use, decreased condom use and reduced access to health services as just a few of the reasons behind the spread.
The health agency noted an increase across the three most commonly reported STDs between 2017 and 2018, wherein more than 115,000 syphilis cases were reported, more than 580,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported, and a whopping 1.7 million cases of chlamydia were reported.
In total, the CDC reported 2.5 million cases of STDs in the U.S. in 2018. It also noted cases of congenital syphilis, which is when a mother passes the STD to her baby during pregnancy, increased 40 percent from 2017 to 2018. The number of newborn deaths related to syphilis also increased 22 percent, resulting in 94 fatalities.
“STDs can come at a high cost for babies and other vulnerable populations,” Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, said in a news release. “Curbing STDs will improve the overall health of the nation and prevent infertility, HIV, and infant deaths.”
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