CDC: 20 million Americans may have a sexually-transmitted infection
ATLANTA - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says sexually transmitted diseases are now at an all-time high in the U.S., with more than 2 million new infections in 2016 of 3 of the most common infections, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
"I'm very alarmed," says Dr. David Holland, Chief Clinical Officer for Communicable Diseases for The Fulton County Health Department.
"You know, one is too many," Dr. Holland says. "Especially when we have cures for all of them. It's a little bit, a little bit ridiculous that we can't get these controlled."
The CDC's newest numbers for 2016 are troubling. There were 1.59 million cases of chlamydia, a 4% jump from 2015, and about 468,000 new infections of Gonorrhea, up 18 percent from last year.
And there were nearly 28,000 new cases of syphilis, a 17 percent rate increase from 2015.
Among those hardest hit, are young women, infants and gay and bisexual men.
If you look at chlamydia, nearly half of the new infections were in teen girls and young women.
Left untreated, chlamydia can make getting pregnant difficult, if not impossible, and cause life-threatening pregnancy complications like an ectopic pregnancy, or a pregnancy outside the womb.
And the CDC saw a troubling jump in babies born with syphilis,628 babies in 2016.
The CDC says 40 infants died. A That's a 27 percent jump in congenital syphilis in just one year.
But Dr. Holland says all 3 of infections are treatable, curable even, with antibiotics.
"People who have had syphilis for a long time, it's a little bit more difficult to get rid of," Holland says. "But, for people who have recently been infected, all 3 of them can be cured with one dose of an antibiotic."
So what can you do to protect yourself? The CDC says to protect yourself if you're sexually active and not in a monogamous relationship, talk to your partner, and get screened for STD on a yearly basis. If you're diagnosed with an infection, get treatment.
It may be easier than you think.