JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – U.S. infections from three sexually transmitted diseases have risen for the fifth consecutive year and the and the South ranks No. 1 for at least two of the diseases, according to numbers released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More than 1.7 million cases of chlamydia were reported last year. The infection rate rose 3% from 2017. It's the most ever reported in a year, though the trend is mainly attributed to increased testing.
In 2018, rates of reported cases of chlamydia were highest in the South. The rates of reported cases of
chlamydia were highest among those aged 15-24 years during 2014-2018.
About 580,000 gonorrhea cases were reported. That's the highest number since 1991. The rate rose 5%. Scientists worry antibiotic resistance may be a factor.
The South had the highest rate of reported gonorrhea cases among the four regions of the U.S. in 2018.
The rate of reported gonorrhea cases among men was higher than the rate among women in 2018.
And the syphilis rate rose 15%. About 35,000 cases of the most contagious forms of the disease were reported -- also the most since 1991. The increases coincided with public health funding cuts and clinic closures.
In 2018, the West had the highest rate of reported syphilis cases, followed by the South. Those states included California, Nevada, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida.
One woman told News4Jax that she was not surprised.
"Not at all -- it's like the party area down here. People come down here for spring break and whatnot," she said. "Everybody just seems to do what they want to do without any consequences or worrying about it."
Whether the exchange of STDs is happening with a long-term partner or casual partner, doctors advise that more people need to protect themselves from this unwanted trend. If you need to get tested for STDs, contact your local clinic or a physician.