New data shows 2016 was a record year for three sexually transmitted diseases in the United States, with more than two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis combined.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report spells out the growing problem with these diseases.
The data shows:
- There were 1,598,354 reported cases of chlamydia, which amounts to nearly 500 cases per 100,000 people. There were 1,526,658 cases in 2015.
- There were 468,514 cases of gonorrhea, up from 395,216 in 2015.
- There were 88,042 cases of syphilis, up from 74,707 in 2015.
Last year saw chlamydia affect more blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives more than any other race demographic, with the rate of blacks suffering from the disease 5.6 times higher than whites, and the rate of American Indians/Alaska Natives 3.8 times higher than whites.
During 2015-2016, the reported rate of gonorrhea infections rose 22.2 percent among men and 13.8 percent among women.
Regarding syphilis, men accounted for nearly 90 percent of all reported cases last year.
Dr. Gail Bolan, the CDC's director of the Division of STD Prevention, wrote in the report that cuts to budgets that help fund community health clinics have contributed to the rising numbers.
"STD public health programs are increasingly facing challenges and barriers in achieving their mission," Bolan wrote. "In 2012, 52 percent of state and local STD programs experienced budget cuts. This amounts to reductions in clinic hours, contact tracing, and screening for common STDs. CDC estimates that 21 local health department STD clinics closed that year."
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