'Shameful' Finding in California STD Report

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

The Golden State has seen a almost 45 percent increase in three of the most serious STD's - syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea - since five years ago: 300,000 such cases in 2017. In 2017, there were 218,710 reported cases of chlamydia, the highest number since 1990, representing a 9% increase over 2016.

California reached a record high in the number of sexually transmitted disease cases last year, with the state seeing an overall 45 percent spike in the number of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis cases over the past five years.

The report said that people who are under the age of 30 are the ones who suffer with chlamydia and gonorrhoea. "Seeing it come back like this is a sign of failure of the public health safety net".

Another 278 babies were born with the infection, which can cause severe health problems including premature birth, low birth weight, birth defects, blindness and hearing loss.

Public Health recently launched a medical provider education campaign aimed at improving awareness of syphilis trends and guidelines and earlier detection and treatment of syphilis in women before they may become pregnant. This is up significantly from past year when 1,805 cases were reported.

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The figure that caused the greatest alarm for researchers and administrators was 30 stillbirths resulting from congenital syphilis statewide - the highest number reported since 1995, the CDPH said.

Dr Heidi Bauer, chief of the state health department's STD Control Branch, agreed that budget issues are part of the problem.

"STDs are preventable by consistently using condoms, and many STDs can be cured with antibiotics", said CDPH Director Dr. Karen Smith. Early detection and treatment can interrupt the steady climb of STD rates.

Klausner also said sex education and programs in the community will help lessen the stigma surrounding these conditions.

More than two million new cases of all three infections were reported in the United States in 2016 - the most ever, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 75,450 cases of gonorrhea reported past year was the highest number since 1988. "We all need to keep making the public aware of and encourage sexually-active individuals to get tested for STDs on a regular basis-and be treated, if and as necessary-and to also use tools like condoms to prevent or reduce the likelihood of infections".

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