Health officials say record number of Californians diagnosed with STDs a year ago

Health officials say record number of Californians diagnosed with STDs a year ago

Reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases reached a new high in California in 2017, health officials announced on Monday.

In excess of 300,000 instances of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were accounted for in 2017, a 45 percent expansion from five years prior, as indicated by information discharged by the California Bureau of General Wellbeing.

Over the last five years, STD rates jumped 45% in California, which is an increase not seen in almost three decades.

See the CDPH's breakdown of the data here.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea rates among African-Americans were almost five times higher than caucasians, CDPH found. African-Americans reported more than twice the rate for early syphilis than caucasians. Gonorrhea cases saw a 16 percent increase in the same time frame but affected twice as many men than women.

Congenital syphilis led to 30 stillbirths in 2017, the highest since 1995 and the fifth consecutive year that number rose, the agency said.

"STDs are preventable by consistently using condoms, and many STDs can be cured with antibiotics", said Karen Smith, CDPH director and state public health officer. As many as 218,710 cases of chlamydia were recorded, marking the highest rate since 1990.

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Common among young people aged 15-24, gonorrhea can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat.

Different stages of syphilis (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary) have different symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states. The officials also say that getting regular STD testing is significant as many people who get infected have no idea about it. It can occur after direct contact with a syphilis sore during sexual intercourse.

If chlamydia and gonorrhea aren't treated it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain.

STD rates jumped in recent years, especially among the African American community.

In California, 75,450 gonorrhea cases were reported in 2017, marking it the highest number since 1988. The syphilis rate for African-Americans were two times higher.

STDs can cause a number of serious health problems, the CDPH says.

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