There’s a battle raging in the public health arena and, unfortunately, STDs seem to be advancing. Rates of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia infections rose significantly in 2015 compared to 2014: 19% for syphilis, 13% for gonorrhea, and 6% for chlamydia, according to a new CDC study. And the total number for the three reached their highest levels ever. Factor in herpes and human papillomavirus infections, which the CDC doesn’t track, and it’s estimated that there are 110 million cases of STD in the United States, with many people having more than one.
Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, calls this a decisive moment. “STD rates are rising, and many of the country’s systems for preventing STDs have eroded. We must mobilize, rebuild and expand services—or the human and economic burden will continue to grow.”