Syphilis and Gonorrhea on Rise in Gay Men

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released its latest STD data for 2012.

It’s all wrapped up in a report called Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2012 — the whole thing is available online for free.

The data focuses on “the three nationally reported STDs,” or gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia. While reported cases of congenital syphilis actually decreased by a whopping 10 percent since 2011, cases of gonorrhea and chlamydia both rose:

Gonorrhea

  • Cases reported in 2012: 334,826
  • Rate per 100,000 people: 107.5; 4.1% increase since 2011
  • Cases reported in 2012: 15,667
  • Rate per 100,000 people: 5.0; 11.1% increase since 2011; the rate increase was solely among men, particularly gay and bisexual men
  • Cases reported in 2012: 322
  • Rate per 100,000 live births: 7.8; 10% decrease since 2011
  • Cases reported in 2012: 1,422,976
  • Rate per 100,000 people: 456.7; overall stable (increase of 0.7%) since 2011

Syphilis (primary and secondary)

  • Cases reported in 2012: 15,667
  • Rate per 100,000 people: 5.0; 11.1% increase since 2011; the rate increase was solely among men, particularly gay and bisexual men

Syphilis (congenital)

  • Cases reported in 2012: 322
  • Rate per 100,000 live births: 7.8; 10% decrease since 2011

Chlamydia

  • Cases reported in 2012: 1,422,976
  • Rate per 100,000 people: 456.7; overall stable (increase of 0.7%) since 2011

“While STDs threaten the health and well-being of millions of Americans overall, young people bear the greatest burden of all three STDs,” the report reads. “Youth aged 15 to 24 have the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea, and those aged 20-24 have the highest rates of syphilis. CDC estimates that 24,000 women become infertile each year due to undiagnosed/untreated STDs.”

But even with all this data, it’s just not enough, according to the report.

“Many cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis continue to go undiagnosed and unreported, and data on several additional STDs — such as human papillomavirus, herpes simplex virus, and trichomoniasis — are not routinely reported

to CDC,” a fact sheet of the study reads. “As a result, the annual surveillance report captures only a fraction of the true burden of STDs in America. However, it provides important insights into the scope and trends in STD diagnoses in the country.”

 

 


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