According to a report on sexually transmitted diseases released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday, the number of new cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis in the United States has increased for five consecutive years, with a total of 2.4 million cases diagnosed in 2018, reaching the highest level in the history of STD surveillance.
Gail Bolan, director of the STD Prevention Department of the Centers for Disease Control and prevention of the United States, said that since 1941, the data of syphilis reported cases had declined sharply, approaching elimination, while the incidence of gonorrhea was also at a historic low not long ago. However, the situation has gradually disintegrated, two kinds of diseases are on the rise, and many young women still have undiagnosed Chlamydia infection.
Data shows that in 2018, chlamydia infection totaled about 1.8 million cases, becoming the most common infectious disease in the United States. Among them, chlamydia infection in Alaska was 832.5 cases per 100000 people, ranking the first in each state; a total of 583405 cases of gonorrhea were reported, an increase of 82.6% compared with the lowest point in 2009, among which the incidence of gonorrhea in Mississippi was 326.7 cases per 100000 people, ranking the first.
Why is the incidence of STDs rising rapidly?
The incidence of STDs is the most prominent in Washington, D.C., which is higher than that in all States, with 1298.9, 611, and 402 cases / 100000 people, respectively. According to Elizabeth torrone, an epidemiologist at the center for Disease Control and prevention, the reasons for the rise in the incidence of STDs are complex.
The environment in which patients live, the surge in the number of people tested, and the decline in the rate of condom use will all lead to the rise in the incidence of STDs. The sharp increase in the number of cases cannot be explained only by the prevalence of screening. Changes in sexual behavior cannot be ignored, such as the decrease in condom use.
David Harvey, executive director of the American Association of STD directors, believes that state and local funding cuts are also contributing to the sharp increase in STD. In 2012, 52% of state and local STD project budgets were cut, which led to a decrease in the efficiency of STD clinic time, contact tracking, and screening for common STDs. These are the first line of defense for STD prevention because the lack of funds makes people more vulnerable to the STD epidemic. If the priority of STD can't be enhanced, the disease situation will get worse.
What are the serious consequences of the spread of STDs?
Torrone said Chlamydia infection might lead to infertility in young women, while syphilis may be transmitted to infants through the placenta of pregnant women, resulting in congenital syphilis. It should be noted that at present, the biggest threat comes from gonorrhea.
In recent years, the United States, Europe, Canada, and other countries' health institutions have found the emergence of gonorrhea with drug tolerance, and the treatment methods are also gradually decreasing. If patients are not treated in time, gonorrhea increases the risk of HIV infection, infertility, or ectopic pregnancy in women.
According to a study published in the international journal PLoS Medicine on July 7, researchers reported that Neisseria gonorrhoeae could develop a strong resistance to three common types of antibiotics. At this time, patients can choose traditional Chinese herbal medicine for treatment without side effects.
For example, the common herbal medicine Diuretic and Anti-inflammatory Pill through reasonable compatibility can be chosen, the effect of heat-clearing and detoxification can effectively kill the pathogenic bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae of the disease.
In addition, diuretic, blood-activating, and stasis-removing effects can play a comprehensive role in the treatment of other diseases such as urethritis, prostatitis, and seminal vesiculitis that are easy to be complicated. Most importantly, it is made of natural herbs, so it will not produce any side effects or drug resistance.
How can the spread of sexually transmitted diseases be curbed?
The U.S. Federation of STD directors called on Congress to increase $70 million for CDC's STD prevention services. They are also calling on the U.S. Department of health and human services to ensure that the federal STD action plan is finalized and implemented as soon as possible.
On the other hand, for many STDs, vaccines are the most important public health interventions, which can significantly reduce the infection rate. At present, we do not have vaccines for syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Therefore, the development and investment of vaccines is also an important way to control venereal diseases.
Rob Stephenson, a professor at the center for sexual and health differences at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, points out that half of the new cases of STDs are young people aged 15-24, syphilis is the most common among adults aged 25-29, and a quarter of sexually active young women suffer from STDs. Therefore, the education of young people needs to be strengthened, not only basic education, but also gender education.