Health authorities are sounding the alarm over the rapid spread, calling for urgent measures to prevent STDs
US health officials have called for new prevention and treatment measures as cases of sexually transmitted diseases, including gonorrhea and syphilis, have soared in recent years.
Speaking at a medical conference earlier this week, Dr. Leandro Mena of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that it was “mandatory” which the US is working towards “rebuild, upgrade and expand” STD prevention. It comes as syphilis infection rates hit a 20-year high last year and new infections rose 26%, surpassing the record set in 1948.
David Harvey, head of the National Coalition of STD Clinics, whose group is pushing for at least $500 million in federal funding for STD clinics, described the situation this way. “out of control.”
Health officials offer several possible solutions to the problem, such as promoting condom use and developing home testing kits for some sexually transmitted diseases that would make it easier for people to find out and prevent infection. the further spread of diseases.
Syphilis has been named one of the most dangerous sexually transmitted diseases, the number of infections of which has recently increased. Although this bacterial disease usually presents as genital ulcers, it can lead to more serious consequences and symptoms and even death if left untreated.
The disease was thought to have been nearly eradicated several decades ago. In 1998, fewer than 7,000 cases of syphilis were reported in the United States. But by 2002, cases began to increase, mostly among gay and bisexual men. By 2020, the annual number of cases had reached almost 41,700, and the following year, the number of cases rose to over 52,000.
Infection rates are highest among men who have sex with men and among blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans, the CDC noted. The female rate, which is generally thought to be lower than that of men, has also skyrocketed in the past year, to around 50%.
Mena emphasizes the importance of reducing the stigma associated with STIs, expanding screening and treatment services, and supporting the development and availability of home testing. “I imagine that one day testing (for STDs) could be as easy and affordable as taking a home pregnancy test,” he said.
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