STDs at record high across US, Florida ranked in top 10 states

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were reported in the United States in 2016 — the highest number ever.

The state of Florida ranked among the top 10 in the syphilis category, according to the study.

“We have reached a decisive moment for the nation,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “STD rates are rising, and many of the country’s systems for preventing STDs have eroded. We must mobilize, rebuild and expand services – or the human and economic burden will continue to grow.”

In 2015, an estimated 4,849 adults and adolescents were diagnosed with HIV in Florida. Florida also ranked No. 1 among the 50 states in the number of HIV diagnoses.

However, there has been a nationwide decrease in the percentage of adolescents who have ever had sex. Among high school students in Florida:

  • 24.1% of 9th graders have reported ever having sex in 2015 compared to 37.8% in 2005.
  • 33.2% of 10th graders have reported ever having sex in 2015 compared to 47.2% in 2005.

Florida now ranks 6th in rates of P&S syphilis among 50 states.

Between 2011 and 2015, reported rates of acute hepatitis B increased by 91 percent and rates of acute hepatitis C increased by 100 percent in Florida.

While all three of these STDs can be cured with antibiotics, if left undiagnosed and untreated, they can have serious health consequences, including infertility, life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants, and increased risk for HIV transmission.

Young people and gay and bisexual men continue to face the greatest risk of becoming infected with an STD, and there continue to be troubling increases in syphilis among newborns.

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