Californians suffered a record number of STDs in 2017

Californians suffered a record number of STDs in 2017

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. Many people with STD do not know they have it. Syphilis can lead to blindness, hearing loss and neurological issues, the wire service said.

"We've known how to control syphilis since the early 1900s".

Klausner pointed to the nations of Cuba, Thailand and Belarus, which have virtually eliminated syphilis cases among infants, the AP reported. There were 30 in 2017, California's highest number since 1995. To which, Dr. Heidi Bauer of the state health department's STD Control Branch agreed. Rates of chlamydia are higher for young women, and syphilis and gonorrhea are most prevalent among men. The health department also looks forward to providing education regarding the risk of such STDs, and about screening and treatment. With a state population of almost 40 million, Bauer said it isn't enough, especially in areas struggling with poverty, substance abuse, mental health issues and homelessness. An estimated $20 million is for health care, which the department says is not enough for California's 40 million residents.

Officials are also increasing efforts to follow up on cases, especially those involving pregnant women with syphilis, she said. They have programs launched throughout the state on STD prevention coalitions, Comprehensive Sex Education Network's, and STD awareness campaigns. In 2017, there were 218,710 reported cases of chlamydia, the highest number since 1990, representing a 9% increase over 2016.


'While there are advocates and champions for cancer, nobody is out there saying, 'I have gonorrhea and these are the best ways to treat it.' There's no one out there being a champion for these conditions, ' said Klausner.

"STDs are preventable by consistently using condoms, and many STDs can be cured with antibiotics", said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. STDs may also be more prevalent among vulnerable communities with low incomes, drug addiction problems, or mental illness.

Cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and early syphilis were concentrated among those younger than 30. CDC numbers for 2017 won't be available until later this year.

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