STD Rate In California Hits New High: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis Worst Culprits

Ebony Scott
May 16, 2018

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.

According to the California Department of Public Health, more than 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were reported.

Here's what you should know about this record-breaking number.

The diagnosis rate for chlamydia was 552.1 cases per 100,000 Californians, compared to 497.3 per 100,000 nationwide. Rates of chlamydia are highest among young women, and males account for the majority of syphilis and gonorrhea cases.

CDPH noted that 2017 was the "fifth consecutive year for increases in the number of infants born with congenital syphilis", and that there were 278 congenital syphilis cases, including 30 stillbirths, in California last year.

Nationally, the rate is 148.5 per 100,000.

Common among young people aged 15-24, gonorrhea can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat.

If chlamydia and gonorrhea aren't treated it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain.

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The figure that caused the greatest alarm for researchers and administrators was 30 stillbirths resulting from congenital syphilis statewide - the highest number reported since 1995, the CDPH said.

In the last few years, Kern County has seen sexually transmitted disease rates soar, putting Kern's STD rates among the highest in the state. With 13,605 recorded cases, early syphilis reached its highest rate since 1987.

"We've known how to control syphilis since early 1900's".

Sexually transmitted diseases can cause serious health problems.

"For California to have a steady increase in congenital syphilis is shameful", Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a professor of medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, told the Associated Press.

In California, 75,450 gonorrhea cases were reported in 2017, marking it the highest number since 1988. She also cited the importance of regular testing and treatment for people who are sexually active, even for those who do not have symptoms.

"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.

Other reports by GizPress

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