Health authorities are sounding the alarm about the rapid spread, urging swift STD prevention measures
US health officials have called for new prevention and treatment efforts as the number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases, including gonorrhea and syphilis, has skyrocketed over the past few years.
Speaking at a medical conference earlier this week, Dr. Leandro Mena of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that “Orders” that the United States works to “Rebuild, Innovate and Expand” Prevention of STDs. This comes as syphilis infection rates last year hit a 20-year high and new infections rose 26%, beating the record set in 1948.
The head of the National Coalition of STD Directors, David Harvey, whose group is pushing to propose at least $500 million in federal funding to go toward STD clinics, described the situation as “lose control.”
Health officials are suggesting a number of possible solutions to the problem, such as encouraging condom use and developing home testing kits for certain STIs to make it easier for people to find out if they are infected and thus prevent further spread of the disease.
Syphilis is considered one of the deadliest among sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that has seen a spike in recent times. Although this bacterial disease generally presents as genital sores, if left untreated, it can lead to more serious symptoms and consequences, even death.
The disease is thought to have been almost eliminated several decades ago. In 1998, fewer than 7,000 cases of syphilis were reported across the United States. However, by 2002 cases had begun to increase, mainly in gay and bisexual men. By 2020, the annual number of cases had reached nearly 41,700 and spiked to more than 52,000 the following year.
The CDC indicates that infection rates are highest among men who have sex with men, and among blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans. The rate among women, often thought to be lower than in men, has also increased significantly, to around 50% last year.
Mena emphasized that it is important to reduce stigma associated with STDs, expand screening and treatment services, and support the growth and accessibility of home testing. “I imagine testing (for STDs) could one day be as simple and affordable as a home pregnancy test,” he said. he say.