STDs at record high across US, Georgia ranked in top 5 states

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(WFLA/WJBF) – 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 Georgia now ranks 2nd in the syphilis category, according to the study. South Carolina ranks at 18th.

“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 2,381 adults and adolescents were diagnosed with HIV in Georgia. Georgia also ranked No. 5 among the 50 states in the number of HIV diagnoses. South Carolina came in at 17 with an estimated 694 adults and adolescents diagnosed with HIV.

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

  • 24% of 9th graders have reported ever having sex in 2015 compared to 34% in 2005
  • 35.7% of 10th graders have reported ever having sex in 2015 compared to 42.8% in 2005

And among high school students in South Carolina:

  • 23.4% of 9th graders have reported ever having sex in 2015 compared to 36.4% in 2005.
  • 34.2% of 10th graders have reported ever having sex in 2015 compared to 51.8% in 2005.

Georgia ranks 2nd in rates of P&S syphilis among 50 states. South Carolina at 18th.

Between 2011 and 2015, reported rates of acute hepatitis B decreased by 14% and rates of acute hepatitis C increased by 60% in Georgia.

In South Carolina, rates of acute hepatitis A increased by 50% and rates of acute hepatitis B decreased by 25%.

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.CLICK HERE to view each state’s profile.

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