Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Reported STD Cases Reach New High in California, Health Officials Find

Reported STD Cases Reach New High in California, Health Officials Find

Untreated infections can cause health issues including brain disease, according to CDPH. The incidents among gay men and those aged 15 to 25 are the highest numbers recorded.

In California, chlamydia rates among women were 60 percent higher than among males, and 54 percent of cases were in people under the age of 25.

The state recorded the highest number of chlamydia cases since reporting started in 1990, the agency said.

For the health officials, the increase is more alarming than ever considering the fact that the number of sexually transmitted disease has increased each year for six years.

Another concerning number from the state health agency is that 30 stillbirths occurred in California due to syphilis.

In 2016, the U.S. had 2 million cases of STDs with California having one of the highest rates recorded.

The most reported STD was chlamydia, with 218,710 cases reported in 2017. Released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the data revealed a 45 percent increase in cases compared to data from five years ago. Untreated syphilis can lead to permanent vision loss, hearing, and other neurologic problems.

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'For California to have a steady increase in congenital syphilis is shameful, ' said Dr Jeffrey Klausner, a professor of medicine at University of California, Los Angeles.

Early syphilis cases rose 20 percent between 2016 and 2017. He also noted that Thailand, Cuba, and Belarus almost eliminated infection in infants. Being diagnosed with syphilis during pregnancy can also put the unborn baby at risk of having a low birth weight, being delivered early or death (stillbirth).

In terms of which STD Butte County has the most of, that answer is Chlamydia.

Officials blame lack of STD awareness, decreasing number of clinics and less frequent condom usage for the rates, the L.A. Times reported.

The health department is spearheading a "multi-pronged" effort to educate the public about the risks and get the word out to medical providers about the latest advances in screening and treatment, Bauer said.

"We've also seen changes in the population's behavior, which has diminished condom use, which has led to rising rates of STIs", said Dr. Matthew Golden, director of Public Health Seattle -King County's HIV STD Program.

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