The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on sexually transmitted diseases reveals increased STD rates, especially among men. Cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis have all increased and are the three most common STDs in the united States. Here are the numbers: in 2014, there were over 1.4 million cases of chlamydia, 350,000 cases of gonorrhea, and nearly 20,000 cases of syphilis in the United States--representing significant percentage increases since 2013. And these are just numbers from documented cases--there may be people who have these diseases but are not yet presenting with symptoms or are not seeking medical help, says Dr. Gail Bolan, director of the CDC's Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention.
The increased rate of gonorrhea has mostly been in men. Data suggest men account for about 75% of the people who have the disease. The rise in syphilis has mostly been driven by men who have sex with men. Hayley Mark, associate professor of community-public health at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing describes this as a "crisis in this group," encouraging sexually active men (and women) to get tested regularly. Mark states these increased rates of STDs may indicate a declining use of condoms during intercourse, but more research must be conducted to be sure. Access to healthcare may also be a factor for sexually active youths. STDs are both treatable and avoidable in most cases, yet many might not have access to clinics to get tested and treated--this is a significant barrier. Increased awareness on the risks of STDs could help people seek the care they require.