NEW YORK (AP) — Infections from three sexually spread diseases have hit another record high.
Chlamydia (kluh-MID’-ee-uh) was the most common. More than 1.5 million cases were reported in the U.S. last year, up 6 percent from the year before.
Nearly 400,000 gonorrhea (gah-nuh-REE’-uh) cases were reported, up 13 percent. And there were about 24,000 cases of the most contagious forms of syphilis, up 19 percent.
The three infections are treatable with antibiotics.
Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say part of the growth may be due to better testing and diagnosis, but much of it is a real increase. They’re not sure why.
The CDC released the new numbers Wednesday.
An estimated 20 million cases of sexually transmitted infections occur each year in the U.S.
Smoking and alcohol abuse are the major causes, but 25 percent of oral cancers appear in people who have never smoked or drunk to excess. The suspected cause of at least some of these cancers is human papillomavirus, or H.P.V., the same sexually transmitted virus that causes most cervical cancers, which can invade the mouth during oral sex. “Some are already hypothesizing that if kids are inoculated against H.P.V.,” Dr. Kahn said, “there will be a turnaround in the oral cancers caused by H.P.V., too.”
More than one-third of American women are infected with human papillomavirus (HPV), which in rare cases can lead to cervical cancer, by the time they are 24 years old, according to a study being published today.
Incidence and prevalence estimates suggest that young people aged 15–24 years acquire half of all new STDs1 and that 1 in 4 sexually active adolescent females have an STD, such as chlamydia or human papillomavirus (HPV).2 Compared with older adults, sexually active adolescents aged 15–19 years and young adults aged 20–24 years are at higher risk of acquiring STDs for a combination of behavioral, biological, and cultural reasons. For some STDs, such as chlamydia, adolescent females may have increased susceptibility to infection because of increased cervical ectopy. Cervical ectopy refers to columnar cells, which are typically located within the cervical canal, being located on the outer surface of the cervix. Although this is a normal finding in adolescent and young women, these cells are more susceptible infection. The higher prevalence of STDs among adolescents may also reflect multiple barriers to accessing quality STD prevention and management services, including inability to pay, lack of transportation, long waiting times, conflicts between clinic hours and work and school schedules, embarrassment attached to seeking STD services, method of specimen collection, and concerns about confidentiality.3