Over the last two or three years, rates of STDs in the United States have been rising. In fact, some health experts consider the growth of the numbers downright alarming.
The Recent Rise of STDs in the United States
Nationwide, cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia reached all-time highs during 2015, according to the L.A. Times. In California, specifically, these rates were even higher than the national average – the highest they have been since the state began keeping records about STDs, which started in 1990.
CNN also reported back in October of 2016 about the troubling rise of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the country, all of which reached all-time highs. Chlamydia was by far the most common, with over 1.5 million cases reported in the U.S. in 2015. Meanwhile, gonorrhea had almost 400,000 reported cases, and syphilis had a little over 23,000.
The Most Common STDs Saw the Biggest Growth
Ironically, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are all curable with treatment. However, these three STDs are often present in people who show no symptoms.
Chlamydia, in particular, is treatable and curable, but can cause extreme adverse effects in a woman’s body if left to its own devices – it can damage her reproductive system and make it difficult for her to get pregnant.
Alarming STD Statistics and the Need for Prevention
Unfortunately, there are even more alarming, recent STD statistics out there.
General Numbers About STDs
According to Live Science, 20 million cases of STDs are newly diagnosed every year in the United States. 50 percent of these cases occur in people ages 15 to 24 – but this age group represents only one-quarter of the total people in the country who have had sex. This means a huge amount of young people are getting infected.
According to Pop Sugar, 20 percent of the population in the United States had some kind of STD in 2010. This included 20 percent of high school girls. Additionally, it was estimated that only about 10 to 25 percent of people who were infected with genital herpes knew that they had it, which is a sobering number, but a good illustration of how silent STDs can lurk in the background.
The Proliferation of Chlamydia
Chlamydia remains the most commonly reported STD in the country, which lines up with data reported by the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
In regard to chlamydia, however, the number of cases is actually higher than the number reported, as many people who are infected with chlamydia actually have no idea that they have contracted it. According to Live Science, 1.4 million people reported chlamydia infections in 2012, which is a rate of about 457 cases per 100,000 people in the population.
Chlamydia’s 2015 numbers in the U.S., meanwhile, were the highest ever for any type of condition that had ever been reported to the CDC, according to the L.A. Times. In California’s L.A. County alone, there were 560 cases reported for every 100,000 people.
It’s no wonder Live Science calls sexually transmitted diseases a “hidden epidemic.”
The Importance of STD Testing
The statistics are clear: STDs are a huge problem in the U.S., and it’s only growing. Unfortunately, resource centers for diagnosing and treating STDs, like local and state health clinics, have been largely reduced in capacity or outright closed, which may be a contributing factor, according to the L.A. Times.
So, what can people do in the face of these numbers?
Though limited access to health care and health clinics may bar a lot of people from being able to get tested, STD testing is still the best possible method for prevention and treatment. People often do not see a need to use caution and protection when they have no idea that they’re infected. If they think they’re in the clear, then their behavior often reflects that.
People Can Take Control of their Health
The importance of getting tested in Plano, TX, and Frisco, TX, however, can’t be understated. With testing, people can find out if they have an underlying STD and get treatment. They can find out if they are free of STDs, and use measures to protect themselves from contracting any infections or viruses in the future. Frankly, they can take concrete steps to protect and improve their overall health.
Strengthen Relationships and Trust
STD testing in Plano, TX additionally lessens anxiety for everyone involved in a sexual relationship. Knowing one’s partner is in the clear adds a level of trust to a relationship, which is what most people want. Both partners are then able to remain healthy by staying faithful.
Preventing Curable STDs from Becoming Irreversible Damage
One of the most important reasons STD testing in Frisco, TX is vital, though, is the fact that testing helps people get a diagnosis and get needed treatment. This way, they don’t have to live with an unknown disease that may be doing damage the longer it goes untreated. For women who want to have kids someday, this is a top concern for the health of their reproductive systems.
How Statistics Help Inspire Action
One good aspect of sobering statistics is that they help inspire communities, public figures, health officials, and regular people into action to change them in a positive way.
The statistics about STDs in this country are mostly negative, but these simply present a chance for people to take better care of themselves, to get educated about safe sex and prevention, and to teach others about safe sex. A major source of prevention in Plano, TX, is getting tested for STDs and using that information wisely – whether to get treatment or to start being proactive about one’s sexual health.