National STD Rates are Rising: How Can You Protect Yourself?

According to the CDC, national rates of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia cases have risen for the fourth year in a row. In 2017, almost 2.3 million cases were diagnosed with one of these three STDs. That number breaks the 2016 record by more than 200,000 cases. In light of this public health crisis, what can you do to ensure that you are staying safe? Test Smartly Labs has some recommendations of steps you can take to avoid joining this troubling statistic. 

STD Rates on the Rise

Scientists are concerned that just three STDs are causing millions of infections every year. By itself, chlamydia, which is the CDC’s most commonly reported STD, had 1.7 million cases reported. Syphilis infected more than 30,500, while gonorrhea cases grew to more than 555,000. All of these diseases are easily transmitted through sexual contact.

However, the United States’ growing opioid epidemic also has a hand in STD growth rates. Syphilis, in particular, is common among drug users. Women who trade sex for drugs end up infected and pass along the disease to their babies.

Treatment Troubles

One of the major factors in the spread of STDs is the fact that the diseases are evolving. Gonorrhea, for example, has developed a resistance to most of the antibiotics that doctors use for treatment. Ceftriaxone is the only antibiotic in the U.S. that is still effective. But even that solution is not enough to stop the widespread growth of gonorrhea. Doctors are having to take a two-pronged approach in order to successfully treat gonorrhea: a shot of ceftriaxone and an oral dose of azithromycin, another antibiotic. However, as gonorrhea evolves faster than new antibiotics are discovered, it could become an untreatable STD.

How can you protect yourself?

Scientists admit that we have taken more of a curative approach than a preventative one. They hope that better health funding and education can help the nation pull itself out of a dangerous trend. Sexually active women under 26 should receive a chlamydia test at least once a year. Right now, less than half of women are in the habit of getting tested.

If you are sexually active, it’s important that you focus on prevention rather than curing yourself after the fact. Take steps to ensure that you and your partner are both on the same page regarding sexual histories and infections. Don’t take risks with your health. Know your history and be responsible before you make a spontaneous decision. You can always find confidential STD testing at Test Smartly Labs. Get yourself tested today and avoid joining the millions of Americans currently infected with one of these STDs.


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