As cases of sexually transmitted diseases continue to rise in the United States, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control are now anxious about a new "untreatable" form of gonorrhea.
Americans are crawling with chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, according to a report that reveals a record-high spike in cases of sexually transmitted disease.
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"We are sliding backward", said Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. The CDC say gonorrhea diagnoses have jumped 67 percent in four years, while the prevalence of syphilis increased by approximately 76 percent between 2013 and 2017. "We haven't seen anything like this for two decades".
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Chlamydia was the most common condition reported to the CDC, with more than 1.7 million cases diagnosed in 2017.
A renewed commitment from health care providers - who are encouraged to make STD screening and timely treatment a standard part of medical care, especially for the populations most affected - is an important component to reverse current trends.
Gonorrhea diagnoses almost doubled among gay men - going from 169,130 cases in 2013 to 322,169 previous year.
Nearly half - 45 percent - of chlamydia diagnoses were among 15- to 24-year-old females.
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For the fourth year in a row, the Centers for Disease Control is reporting record high numbers of people getting STDs.
All three are curable with antibiotics, but gonorrhea is increasingly resistant to most drugs used to treat it.
Currently, the disease has become resistant to nearly every antibiotic available, with only ceftriaxone proving to be an effective way to treat gonorrhea, and that may soon come to an end.
Public health experts are also concerned about antibiotic resistant gonorrhea.
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The CDC also reported that the threat of untreatable gonorrhea continues in the United States.