The latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention STD Surveillance Report reveals that the United States is facing an escalating epidemic of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
CDC’s findings unveil a disturbing increase in the cases of syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
According to the report, the numbers are indeed alarming, with syphilis and chlamydia rates hitting record highs. [Source]
The report highlights an unprecedented rise in syphilis cases, which have surged by nearly 80 percent over the last five years. More distressing is the explosion of congenital syphilis cases, which have soared by an astonishing 183 percent during the same timeframe.
While there has been a slight decrease in chlamydia cases by 6.2 percent, the staggering 1.65 million cases reported in 2022 underscore the severity of the epidemic.
Gonorrhea cases have not been spared, witnessing an 11 percent increase since 2018. The CDC and the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) warn that the situation may deteriorate further, with preliminary data suggesting an even more dire outlook for 2023.
The NCSD has voiced its concern, stating that the epidemic is “out of control,” leading to hundreds of deaths and millions of new infections annually.
“The 2022 data shows hundreds of lives lost and millions of infections, but it doesn’t yet reflect the workforce cuts and drug shortages states have experienced in the time since – the reality is that the 2023 data will be worse,” officials from the NCSD said in a media release. [Source]
The surge in STIs is not just a statistic; it is a burgeoning public health crisis that demands immediate action.
“Our nation is facing a rapidly deteriorating public health crisis with real lives at stake. STIs – especially syphilis – will continue to spiral out of control until the administration and Congress provide communities with the funding they need to provide the most basic screening, treatment, and prevention services,” NCSD officials urge.
The CDC has pinpointed the “syphilis epidemic” as particularly alarming. Cases of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis, the most infectious stages of the disease, have skyrocketed by 68 percent from 2018 through 2022.
This rise in syphilis cases among pregnant women has led to a significant increase in congenital syphilis, posing a grave threat to the health of newborns. “The STI field has reached a tipping point. We have long known that these infections are common, but we have not faced such severe effects of syphilis in decades,” states Laura Bachmann, MD, MPH, the acting director of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention.
The majority of these STI cases have been reported in Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, which collectively account for 57 percent of all congenital syphilis cases. Moreover, racial and ethnic minorities, particularly African American patients, have been disproportionately affected, comprising 30 percent of all congenital syphilis cases in 2022.