The CDC recently published a press release stating that at the end of 2019 sexually transmitted diseases reached an all time high for the sixth consecutive year. More than 2.5 million cases were reported in 2019.
As STDs reach an all time high, learn how to prevent STDs.
Less than 20 year ago, gonorrhea rates were at historic lows. Syphilis was almost eliminated, and the advances that were made in diagnosing chlamydia made it easier to detect.
Unfortunately, those gains were reversed.
There has been a 20% increase since 2015 in chlamydia cases which totaled 1.8 million in 2019.
Gonorrhea increased by more than 50% since 2015 to 616,000 cases in 2019.
Syphilis cases reached 130,000 in 2019 for an increase of 70% since 2015.
The most alarming stat is the increase in congenital syphilis, where an STD is passed from mother to baby during pregnancy. There has been a 279% increase since 2015, and 128 infants died in 2019 from congenital syphilis.
In addition, preliminary data for 2020 suggests many of the same trends continued during 2020 when the country had less STD testing and treatment due to the COVID pandemic.
Did You Know?
The spread of STDs is affected by social, economic and behavioral factors. These factors make it increasingly difficult to prevent its spread. STDs hit gay and bisexual men, plus racial and ethnic minorities the hardest.
In addition, it’s important to understand the following:
- The majority of STD infections either don’t have symptoms or they are so mild, they go unnoticed and therefore untreated.
- Women are more susceptible to STDs and have more severe complications than men do. These include pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and chronic pelvic pain.
- Those between the ages of 15 to 24 account for 50% of new STD cases.
How To Prevent STDs
There are several practical ways to prevent contracting and spreading STDs.
Avoid engaging in oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse.
Consistent use of a condom lessens the risk of infection. If you are allergic to latex, there are non-latex condoms available, but unfortunately, they can break easily. Natural membrane condoms will not prevent STDs.
Have Less Partners
Having less sexual partners will obviously reduce your risk of getting an STD, but it is still important to get tested.
You and your one partner agree to only have sex with each other. Short of abstinence, this is the best way to prevent STDs. Get tested to be sure neither of you is already infected.
The HPV vaccine is recommended for those aged 11 through 26 to prevent cancers later in life as well as Hepatitis B.
It is very important to get screened on a regular basis if you are not in a monogamous relationship. Since symptoms are not always recognized, this assures you will get prompt treatment.
Learn even more by downloading the CDC fact sheets.
STD Screening in Birmingham, Alabama
It is recommended you undergo screening if you have a new partner, you are having unprotected sex, you are engaging in high-risk behavior, and/or you are exhibiting symptoms of an STD.
The highly-trained OBGYNs at Birmingham Obstetrics and Gynecology have extensive experience diagnosing and treating STDs.
Contact Birmingham OBGYN at (205) 933-8334 to schedule an STD test or if you have additional questions or concerns about prevention.