Cathy Payne, USA TODAY10:09p.m. EST December 13, 2012
Reports of infections from sexually transmitted diseases are increasing among certain groups, according to government data.
“STDs continue to threaten the health and well-being of millions of Americans,” says Hillard Weinstock, one of the authors of the 2011 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Gay and bisexual men as well as young people are affected in particular, adds Weinstock, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention.
In 2011, 1.4 million chlamydia infections were reported to the CDC. The rate of cases per 100,000 people increased 8%, to 457.6 in 2011 from 423.6 in 2010.
The CDC reported 321,849 gonorrhea infections. The rate increased 4% to 104.2 cases per 100,000 in 2011 from 100.2 in 2010. Like chlamydia, gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, a major cause of infertility in women.
Last year, 13,970 primary and secondary syphilis cases were reported. The rate of 4.5 cases per 100,000 was unchanged from 2010. About 72% of cases were among men who have sex with men.
Syphilis can lead to paralysis, dementia and death. It also can facilitate the transmission of HIV infection.