Despite the fact that some geniuses finally started work on providing portions of the world with “smart condoms” that turn different colors depending on which sexually transmitted disease you happen to possess, the reality surrounding the spread of STDs is less jovial than that sounds.
According to new figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier this week, 1.8 million reports of “new cases” were recorded in 2014. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis have increased for what experts claim is the first time in nearly ten years. Chlamydia, specifically, saw a dramatic 2.8 percent jump with 1.4 million new cases. Gonorrhea saw a 5.1 percent increase, while primary and secondary syphilis reports rose 15.1 percent. These chlamydia figures, according to Discovery, mark “the highest number of annual cases of any condition ever reported to CDC.”
“The consequences of STDs are especially severe for young people,” Gail Bolan, director of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, in a press release. “Because chlamydia and gonorrhea often have no symptoms, many infections go undiagnosed and this can lead to lifelong repercussions for a woman’s reproductive health, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.” Prevention and proper sex education, thankfully, remain key priorities for the CDC:
To reduce STDs, Americans must take steps to protect themselves. For sexually active individuals, testing and treatment according to CDC’s recommendations, using condoms consistently and correctly, and limiting the number of sex partners are all effective strategies for reducing the risk of infection and consequences to health.