The Centers for Disease Control has released a new report revealing the United States sustained a surge in sexually transmitted diseases during 2020 – putting the levels at a 30-year high.
The Daily Mail cited the CDC details regarding gonorrhea and syphilis, and said the 678,000 cases of gonorrhea was the highest number since 1990.
“For syphilis — a condition that can triggers painful rashes — there were 144,000 cases spotted over the same period, also a record for the last three decades but up just three percent in 12 months,” the Mail reported.
The report said total cases of STDs hit 2.4 million in 2020, down a small percentage from 2019 but explained that change likely was because fewer tests were done during the fight against COVID-19.
Infection numbers actually still likely were rising, the CDC reported.
The highest rates were among black and American Indian populations, while gay and bisexual men had the highest rates of chlamydia.
The warning was from Jonathan Merin, director for STD prevention, who cited the “unrelenting momentum” of the epidemic that continued throughout COVID’s lockdowns, limited interaction among people and more.
The Mail report explained, “It has been suggested that cases of the diseases — spread by vaginal, anal or oral contact — rose because a lack of testing left many infected people unaware they had an STD, leading to them unwittingly passing it on. Rising rates of drug use were also thought to be behind the rise.”
While the report said total cases of the three, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, edge downward slightly in 2020 that most likely was because a drop in testing resulted in a failure to detect more cases.
The report, the “2020 Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance” includes data from various state surveillance systems, as well as information from the STD Surveillance Network and the Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project.
CDC director Leandro Mena charged that the problem continues because of a lack of “equity.”
“Social and economic factors – such as poverty and health insurance status – create barriers, increase health risks, and often result in worse health outcomes for some people. If we are to make lasting progress against STDs in this country, we have to understand the systems that create inequities and work with partners to change them. No one can be left behind,” Mena said.
Blacks had 1,086 cases per 100,000 people and American Indians 612.6.
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