According to fresh data released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans reported more cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in 2015 than in any previous year.
The annual report revealed the country’s three most widespread STDs – chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis – climbed between 2014 and 2015. This is the second year in a row the rates have shot upward, compared to the past trend of steadily declining rates.
Primary and secondary syphilis saw the sharpest inclines, increasing 19%, while gonorrhea and chlamydia cases rose by 12.8% and 5.9%, respectively. Chlamydia in particular had over 1.5 million reported cases, representing the “highest number of annual cases of any condition ever reported,” according to the CDC.
“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.
The demographics at greatest risk of an STD were young people, and gay and bisexual men, says the CDC’s report. For example, Americans between 15-24 made up nearly two thirds of chlamydia diagnoses in 2015. Men who have sex with men were responsible for most new gonorrhea cases, and the majority of primary and secondary syphilis cases.
The CDC urges people who are sexually active to go for an STD test; the new report now includes screening recommendations for women under 25, women who are pregnant, and gay and bisexual men.