Stop swiping right and start getting checked because sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise again.
Cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have increased in recent years across the country, and especially in California.
It’s a shame that in today’s age with all the resources available people aren’t getting checked regularly for STDs and that these diseases are spreading as rapidly as they are.
The reason for this increase is unclear. It’s been speculated that people aren’t using condoms as often or are unknowingly passing on these STDs because they haven’t been tested.
Getting tested for STDs would obviously help inform people that they need treatment and that they must keep sexual activity at a minimum during the testing period. It’s not a very difficult thing to do, just a regular old checkup.
Documented diagnoses of these three diseases reached a record high in 2016, with two million cases reported nationally, according to a 2017 report released by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The report also shows that California is among the most-affected states.
An online survey conducted by Elite Daily asked 240 millennials if they had been tested for an STD in the past two years. Nearly 30 percent of them had not been tested despite being sexually active.
It’s ridiculous that sexually active adults aren’t being responsible by taking the necessary precautions to keep their partners safe.
In California, there were almost 9,000 more cases of chlamydia, over 10,000 more gonorrhea cases and nearly 1,000 more reports of syphilis than there were in other states, according to the CDC.
The rate of the syphilis increase may seem low, but it is especially concerning because when women contract the disease, they run the risk of passing it on to their baby during pregnancy—leading to what is called congenital syphilis.
In 2015, 492 cases of congenital syphilis were reported — a 31-case increase from 2014. Similarly, 2016 saw a 136-case increase from the year before, resulting in many deaths and severe health complications among newborns who are contracting these diseases from their mothers.
The increased rates in gonorrhea also prove to be extremely bad because the strains of the disease have bacteria that are mutating and becoming more resilient to the antibiotics used to treat it.
“We’re down to our last class of antibiotics that we have available to treat gonorrhea,” said Dr. Gail Bolan, director of the CDC’s division of STD prevention, in an interview with the LA Times.
“In the past, we just moved on to the next class of antibiotics, but we’re now on the edge.”
The CDC recommends taking action instead of waiting for symptoms to appear because some STDs, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, don’t have visible symptoms. If left untreated, this could cause major problems.
Everyone who is sexually active should talk to their doctor about whether they need an HIV screening test. For students, the Student Wellness Center on campus offers STD testing, but it’s smart to continue going to the doctor or a clinic even after graduation so that Californians can hop around safely and responsibly.