The United States has among the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) of any developed country in the world, says John Douglas, director of the division of sexually transmitted diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis show the three highly treatable infections continue to spread in the United States. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are stable at unacceptably high levels and syphilis is resurgent after almost being eliminated, say the researchers.
* 1.2 million cases of chlamydia were reported in 2008, up from 1.1 million in 2007.
* Nearly 337,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported.
* Adolescent girls 15 to 19 years had the most chlamydia and gonorrhea cases of any age group at 409,531.
* Blacks, who represent 12 percent of the U.S. population, accounted for about 71 percent of reported gonorrhea cases and almost half of all chlamydia and syphilis cases in 2008.
* Black women 15 to 19 had the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea.
* 13,500 syphilis cases were reported in 2008, an almost 18 percent increase from 2007.
* 63 percent of syphilis cases were among men who have sex with men.
* Syphilis rates among women increased 36 percent from 2007 to 2008.
Overall, the CDC estimates that 19 million new sexually transmitted infections occur each year, almost half among 15- to 24-year-olds.
Source: Maggie Fox, "Sex infections still growing in U.S., says CDC," Reuters, November 16, 2009.