Rate of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis on the Rise


In the past, horny college kids at spring break could get the clap and then return home, take some medicine, and go on their merry ways. But now, some STDs have developed the ability to fight antibiotics, and more and more people are getting infected.

With the alarming rise of STDs, healthcare professionals have called for the federal government to take action.

"It is time that President Trump and [Health and Human Services] Secretary [Alex] Azar declare STDs in America a public health crisis," David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, said, according to CNN. "What goes along with that is emergency access to public health funding to make a dent in these STD rates and to bring these rates down and to ensure that all Americans get access to the health care that they need."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rates of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia are on the rise for the fourth consecutive year. Research has shown that the amount of sexual activity in Americans has gone down, but the number of people diagnosed with STDs ballooned to 2.3 million this year. 

The CDC's numbers are terrifying, considering that in 2016, the number of Americans diagnosed with STDs was 200,000. So what is causing this increase?

"We know today that some of what is driving congenital syphilis are women who are trading sex for drugs and that that explains some of the infections we are seeing in babies of syphilis," Harvey said. "There are infectious disease consequences of the opioid epidemic in America, including sexually transmitted infections."

Members of the healthcare community noted that there needs to be changes in the way we screen, prevent and treat sexually transmitted diseases, and they noted that some strains of STDs are now resisting the medicine that used to destroy the diseases in the past, meaning more medical development should be funded. 

"It's important to realize that the gonococcus, the bacteria that causes gonorrhea, has reliably developed resistance to every antibiotic that has ever been used to treat the infection. But in the past 15 to 20 years, the number of new antibiotics available and the development of new antibiotics has slowed greatly. So we have this continued inexorable process of the gonococcus developing antimicrobial resistance, coupled with fewer new antibiotics to pick up and take care of the problem if it develops," Dr. Edward Hook said. "That's a very troublesome combination."

CNN reported that there are millions of people with just the three STDs mentioned. In 2013, "there were 1,752,285 total cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis diagnosed in the United States. That number grew to 1,811,850 in 2014; 1,945,746 in 2015; 2,094,682 in 2016; and 2,294,821 in 2017, according to the preliminary CDC data."