Three of the most common types of Sexually Transmitted Diseases are sweeping the United States as the number of cases spikes record high since 2006. In a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2014 data shows more than 1.4 million cases of chlamydia were reported.
Cases of syphilis and gonorrhea were not far behind with a staggering increase of cases of up to nearly 20,000 and more than 350,000, respectively. The increasing number of cases was seen among younger people aged 15 to 24 years old.
Chlamydia, a common and curable STD caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, occurs more in women. In fact, it is estimated that around 1 out of 20 sexually active women aged 14 to 24 years old has the infection.
Gonorrhea's increase in cases was also seen mostly in younger people. Around 20 percent of cases were seen (PDF) in ages 15 to 19 years old, while a 33 percent increase was seen in ages 20 to 24 years old.
Meanwhile, syphilis cases are on the rise among homosexual and bisexual men. Though the overall increase of cases for both men and women is 15.1 percent, men who have sex with men accounts for 90 percent of new cases of primary and secondary syphilis.
"Certainly, this is the first time since 2006 that all three of our notifiable sexually transmitted diseases have increased. Some of the increases are quite alarming," Dr. Gail Bolan, director of CDC's Division of STD Prevention said.
These cases included those reported to the CDC but do not include those which are still undiagnosed because these infections may appear asymptomatic. Though the CDC recommends younger women below 25 years old to get tested for STDs annually, many women are still untested and still engage in unprotected sex.
"The consequences of STDs are especially severe for young people. 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," Bolan added.
According to the agency, preventing STDs among the youth is its priority. Also, the CDC encourages the use of expedited partner therapy, wherein sexual partners of those previously diagnosed with STD undergo treatment too.
Early diagnosis and treatment is the key solution to this growing predicament. Both men and women who are sexually active should undergo a battery of tests for STDs every year. This will implement proper treatment early on.