The CDC recently published a press release stating that at the end of 2021, cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis all rose from 2020 to 2021. More than 2.5 million cases were reported between 2020 and 2021. As STDs reach an all-time high, learn how to prevent STDs.
Less than 20 years ago, gonorrhea rates were at historic lows. Syphilis was almost eliminated, and the advances that were made in diagnosing chlamydia made it easier to detect.
Unfortunately, those gains were reversed. From 2020 to 2021:
- Chlamydia increased 4%, however, the rate is still above pre-pandemic levels
- Gonorrhea rates increased by over 4%
- Syphilis cases increased 32%. Cases of congenital syphilis also increased by 32% and lead to 220 stillbirths and infant deaths
- STIs are common across all areas of the US, however, gay and bisexual men, as well as younger people, have a higher risk of contracting an STI.
Did You Know?
The spread of STDs is affected by social, economic and behavioral factors. These factors make it increasingly difficult to prevent its spread. STDs hit gay and bisexual men, plus racial and ethnic minorities the hardest.
In addition, it’s important to understand the following:
The majority of STD infections are asymptomatic or they are so mild, they go unnoticed and therefore untreated.
Women are more susceptible to STDs and have more severe complications than men do. These include pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and chronic pelvic pain.
Those between the ages of 15 to 24 account for 50% of new STD cases.
How To Prevent STDs
There are several practical ways to prevent contracting and spreading STDs.
Avoid engaging in oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse.
Consistent use of a condom lessens the risk of infection. If you are allergic to latex, there are non-latex condoms available, but unfortunately, they can break easily. Natural membrane condoms will not prevent STDs.
Have Less Partners
Having less sexual partners will reduce your risk of getting an STD, but it is still important to get tested.
You and your one partner agree to only have sex with each other. Short of abstinence, this is the best way to prevent STDs. Get tested to be sure neither of you is already infected.
The HPV vaccine is recommended for those aged 11 through 26 to prevent cancers later in life as well as Hepatitis B.
It is very important to get screened on a regular basis if you are not in a monogamous relationship. Since symptoms are not always recognized, this assures you will get prompt treatment.
Learn even more by downloading the CDC fact sheets.
STD Testing in Anchorage, AK
It is recommended you undergo screening if you have a new partner, you are having unprotected sex, you are engaging in high-risk behavior, and/or you are exhibiting symptoms of an STD.
The highly-trained physicians at Women’s Care of Alaska have extensive experience diagnosing and treating STDs.