STD rates spike in California

October 31, 2016

std-logoChlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis rates are rising nationwide, and they are increasing even faster in California. In 2015, California had more cases of the three STDs than any year since the state began keeping records in 1990. [LA Times]

Prior to last year, 2014 was the worst recorded year for total STD cases in California. Yet, in 2015, cases increased by nearly 12 percent.

“Cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia are going up in California at a concerning rate,” said Dr. Karen Smith, director of the California Department of Public Health. “This is the second year in a row that we have seen increases in all three diseases.”

In 2015, there were 479 chlamydia cases per 100,000 in the United States. California had a rate of 486 per 100,000.

The 1.4 million nationwide cases of chlamydia in 2014 were the highest annual total of any condition ever reported to the CDC. New data indicates there were upwards of 1.5 million cases in 2015.

California has the third highest rate of primary and secondary syphilis, trailing only Louisiana and Georgia. Syphilis is the least common of the three STDs, but it has led to a resurgence in congenital syphilis, in which an infected mother transmits the disease to her newborn baby. Congenital syphilis can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, jaundice and meningitis.

Last year, there were 142 babies born with syphilis in California, a large jump from 30 cases in 2012. California now has the nation’s second highest rate of congenital syphilis.

Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis can each cause chronic pain and even infertility if untreated. Medicine can cure each of three STDs.

STD rates in California are highest among gay men and people between the ages of 15 and 24, particularly women.

Health officials are not sure why there has been a spike in state and nationwide STD rates. They think the increases could be attributable to people not using condoms as regularly or unknowingly spreading infections because they are going without testing and treatment.

Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention for the CDC, said STD prevention systems have been weakened as a result of local and state clinics reducing capacity or closing over the last few years.







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5 Comments

  1. CentralcoastRN says:

    There are many reasons why the rate has increased. None are really all that surprising.

    1. Increased access to healthcare services= increased detection and diagnosis.

    2. Changes in sexual and relationship behaviors. Sex has become more open and culturally acceptable to celebrate. There are reality shows, TV shows these days are showing full on nudity. We openly discuss gay marriage, transgender issues, divorce, widowhood.

    3. The rates of STDs are increasing along ALL age groups and genders. It just so happens to be increasing at greatest rate among that 15-24 group. I personally think it has to do with that “invincible” thing that age group has, along with fear and issues to accessing STD and family planning services.

    4. Immigration. While the US is open with sexuality, other countries find the discussion of sex shameful. This is not an attack on Catholicism, but I have personally observed persons who are fervent Catholics not using birth control, being quite reserved when discussing sexuality, and yet it are these individuals and couples who are getting STDs at higher rates. I have seen women come in with Gonnorhea, etc.. and the partner will also need to be treated. She cannot get her man to come in, so what ends up happening is that after she is treated and cured, he will just re-infect her.

    I know this sounds gross, but it’s time to start having reality shows about these issues. We already have 600 pound shows, ER show. Maybe it is time to have “gross vagina” shows, drug baby shows, fat people in mobile fat cart shows, etc. People need to fully understand wtf they are doing to their bodies.

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. AGDUDE says:

    With A Gov Like Brown, What do you expect… It’s Called getting by with a little screw with my Friends LOL

    (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
  3. Pelican1 says:

    Given the fact that California outspends most states on social and welfare programs why do its racial and ethnic minorities account for the greatest number of STD’s?
    While we may be a leader in give away programs, we are certainly one of the last in education
    Education….a novel investment to be sure..

    (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
  4. DPINC says:

    In northern ca we have extremely large retirement villages and the highest STD are in those communities —– who’d thunk that —-lol

    (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
    • almostgone says:

      Seniors don’t expect those things to happen to them because at their age they are generally more settled and not out with many partners. I know of one lady now passed on who lost her husband to Aids from transfusions before it was widely known that could happen.

      (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down

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