CDC: Drop In Condom Use Correlates With Increase In STD Infections

A drop in condom use correlates with an increase in STD infections among men who have sex with men

A drop in condom use correlates with an increase in STD infections among men who have sex with men

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a startling rise in the number of cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia in 2018.

The CDC’s annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report indicates more than 2.4 million infections of the three STDs were reported in 2018, an increase of more than 100,000 from 2017.

The New York Times reports the CDC points to multiple factors for the increase:

• A decline in condom use among young people and men who have sex with men

• Increased screening among some groups

• Cuts to sexual health programs at the state and local level

There were more than 115,000 cases of syphilis reported in 2018 representing an increase of 71 percent since 2014.

Gonorrhea cases increased by 5 percent in 2018 to more than 580,000. That’s the highest number reported to the center since 1991.

And chlamydia diagnoses rose by 3 percent in 2018 to more than 1.7 million cases. Again, a record-breaking figure for the CDC.

The report noted that gay and bisexual men were disproportionately represented in the increase in infection rates. Fifty-four percent of all syphilis cases in 2018 were found in men who have sex with men (MSM).

Unfortunately, these figures may not be a full accounting of STDs in America today as many cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia go undiagnosed.

While we’re big proponents of the use of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), it’s easy to wonder if MSM are putting themselves at more risk than they imagine by not using condoms…?

(source: NY Times)


Centers For Disease Control: STDs Cases Reached All-Time High In 2016

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report today and the news isn’t good.

There were over 2 million cases of STDs reported in 2016 – the most ever reported in one year.

Via press release:

The majority of these new diagnoses (1.6 million) were cases of chlamydia. There were also 470,000 gonorrhea cases and almost 28,000 cases of primary and secondary syphilis – the most infectious stages of the disease. While all three of these STDs can be cured with antibiotics, if left undiagnosed and untreated, they can have serious health consequences, including infertility, life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants, and increased risk for HIV transmission.

“Increases in STDs are a clear warning of a growing threat,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “STDs are a persistent enemy, growing in number, and outpacing our ability to respond.”

Epidemic accelerating in multiple populations—impact growing in women, infants, and gay and bisexual men.

While young women continue to bear the greatest burden of chlamydia (nearly half of all diagnosed infections), surges in syphilis and gonorrhea are increasingly affecting new populations.

Syphilis rates increased by nearly 18 percent overall from 2015 to 2016. The majority of these cases occur among men – especially gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM). However, there was a 36 percent increase in rates of syphilis among women and a 28 percent increase in syphilis among newborns (congenital syphilis) during this period.

More than 600 cases of congenital syphilis were reported in 2016, which has resulted in more than 40 deaths and severe health complications among newborns. The disease is preventable through routine screening and timely treatment for syphilis among pregnant women.

While gonorrhea increased among men and women in 2016, the steepest increases were seen among men (22 percent). Research suggests that a large share of new gonorrhea cases are occurring among MSM. These trends are particularly alarming in light of the growing threat of drug resistance to the last remaining recommended gonorrhea treatment.

MSM also bear a great syphilis burden. MSM make up a majority of syphilis cases, and half of MSM diagnosed with syphilis were also living with HIV – pointing to the need to integrate STD and HIV prevention and care services.

We know more and more gay men are using PrEP as a daily defense against HIV infection. But we also know that PrEP offers no protection against STDs.

Be careful out there, men.