Chlamydia Tops the List of STDs

Chlamydia is the number one STD in the United States and it appears to be on the rise.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there were 1.3 million cases of Chlamydia reported last year alone. Chlamydia is the number one Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) reported to public health authorities in the United States today. Over half of the Americans suffering from Chlamydia do not even know that they are suffering from the disease. Gonorrhea still ranks as the number two STD in the United States, but there are signs that it may be on the rise and signs that it may be becoming resistant to the antibiotics used to treat the disease.

Just the facts Ma’am

The numbers based on the 187-page report put out by the CDC on the U.S. Trends on STDs are really alarming.

  • There were over 1.3 million cases of Chlamydia reported in the United States in 2010, the most cases ever reported in any one year. That is equal to 426 cases per 100,000 American.
  • The numbers of cases per 100,000 Americans run the gamut from 186 cases in the state of New Hampshire to 862 cases in the state of Alaska.
  • Roughly 8 percent of all women between the ages of 15 and 24 attending family planning clinics test positive for the disease.
  • The rate of Chlamydia among African-Americans is over eight times the rate among Caucasians but the number of cases among both Blacks and Whites are increasing at about the same rate.

Better screening and better reporting

The higher number of cases of Chlamydia in 2010 does not necessarily mean that the disease is actually on the rise in the U.S. Instead, better screening—including a urine test—means we are only now beginning to realize how big a problem chlamydia has been all along.

In the year 2000, only 25 percent of young women were screened for chlamydia while 48 percent were screened in 2010. That is a huge increase in the number screened, but we still have a long way to go before we find all the men and women who are in need of treatment.

Chlamydia is treatable with antibiotics. Sadly, many people don't know they have a chlamydia infection. Complications are uncommon in men, but untreated chlamydia causes pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in 10 percent to 15 percent of women. It can also cause permanent damage to a woman's reproductive organs, making her sterile.

The good news

If there's any good news in the CDC report, it is that the syphilis rate went down for the first time in 10 years. However, there's bad news on syphilis, too. The rate among African-American men has gone up 134% over the last five years, driven mainly by an increase among young African-American men who have sex with other men.

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Vancho Dimitrov
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Sibt-e-Hassan Raja
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Roberta Baxter
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