A quick look at major states and cities across the United States reveals an alarming rise in the number of major sexually transmitted infections.
Experts are concerned about the rates that have been increasing since 2013 and are calling upon healthcare providers to heighten their STD awareness campaigns.
New York City STD Rates
In New York City, numbers released by the Department of Health and Hygiene showed that chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea cases have been increasing from 2013 to date.
The study revealed that cases of syphilis had risen from 2,907 to 3,920 between 2013 and 2015 while gonorrhea rates went up from 13,500 to 16,913. Chlamydia cases rose from 58,098 to 62,965.
Between 2015 and 2016, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia cases rose by 27%, 13% and 6% respectively.
Minnesota STD Rates
In Minnesota the Department of Health released a report revealing a worrisome increase of STDs in 2016. Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were reported to have collectively increased by 10% between 2015 and 2016.
According to the department syphilis and gonorrhea had witnessed the highest increase at 30% and 25% respectively. Chlamydia rose by 7%. In general, chlamydia cases are the highest followed by syphilis and gonorrhea at third place.
There is increased concern regarding the high number of syphilis cases reported among men having sex with men (MSM) in Minnesota. Another reason for concern is increased congenital syphilis which causes babies to be born with syphilis.
Sonoma County STD Rates
In Sonoma County, new infection rates of chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea have been rising since 2008. However, the spread of HIV has been declining steadily.
The number of chlamydia rose from 910 to 1,893 between 2008 and 2016. In the same period gonorrhea cases went up from 69 to 554 while syphilis cases jump from four all the way to 63.
Causes of The Rise in Numbers
There are different reasons that have been given for the rising numbers of STD across the US. Some experts blame dating and hooking apps such as Tinder and Grindr because they promote casual sex and hookup culture.
Use of these apps has made consensual sex readily available and most people are not engaging in sexual health talks before engaging in sex to establish their partner’s sexual health.
Others are blaming the popularity of HIV prevention and treatment methods such as HIV PrEP. Because of the high success of preventing the spread of HIV, users are now avoiding to use condoms exposing themselves to STDs. HIV PrEP and HIV PEP protects you from HIV only but offers no protection from STDs.
Health care budget cuts have also affected programs aimed at STD awareness, education, prevention and treatment. This has also affected accessibility to STD testing, treatment and care across the US.
On the other hand, Obamacare has increased access meaning that more people are getting tested thus increasing detection rates. Hence more cases are now being documented. The more people get tested the more data is collected, documented and reported.
Experts however, agree that there is a general lax in taking protection during sex seriously especially among the youths, gay and bisexual men.
Various health departments in the US have started campaigns to raise awareness about the seriousness of STD and the risk involved in risky sexual behaviour.