Cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) increased by a large margin in 2014, according to new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), so that makes me feel really good about having just downloaded Tinder again. The new report shows that cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis have gone up for the first time since 2006, which was apparently not a great year.
The CDC reports that 1.4 million cases of chlamydia were reported in 2014, a 2.8% increase in cases from 2013, which represents “the highest number of annual cases of any condition ever reported to CDC.” Gonorrhea and syphilis cases also went up.
“America’s worsening STD epidemic is a clear call for better diagnosis, treatment, and prevention,” Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention said in a statement. “While anyone can become infected with an STD, certain groups, including young people and gay and bisexual men, are at greatest risk,” the CDC wrote. They called the spike in syphilis cases is “alarming,” especially since many cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis go undiagnosed and unreported.
The CDC doesn’t know why STDs are increasing. While they research the source of the problem, they recommend frequent screening for everyone. Women under age 25 who are sexually active, or have risk factors like multiple sexual partners, should request yearly chlamydia and gonorrhea tests. This is crucial, especially since many doctors won’t test you when you’re under 21 unless you make it clear verbally that you want to be tested. A pap smear isn’t an STD test! Be safe. Get tested on the reg.