STD rates soar to record high driven by rising rates among over-40s

The rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are rising rapidly among US adults above age 40, a new report has found.

From 2016 to 2017, chlamydia rates increased the most among middle-aged Americans while cases of syphilis nearly doubled.

Additionally, outbreaks of chlamydia and gonorrhea have led to Alaska being named the state that leads the nation in rates of infection.

The findings are in line with a report last year from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that found STDs hit a record high in 2017.

About 2.3 million Americans were diagnosed, which is 200,000 more than the year before.

The team, from Health Testing Centers, says the findings show that more education and access to preventative services needs to be made nationwide to drive down the staggering numbers.

The number of STDs in the US over the last 76 years has increased by 248 percent from about 679,000 to around 2.3 million. After a slight dip in the 1990s, they've continued to climb year-over-year

The number of STDs in the US over the last 76 years has increased by 248 percent from about 679,000 to around 2.3 million. After a slight dip in the 1990s, they've continued to climb year-over-year

The number of STDs in the US over the last 76 years has increased by 248 percent from about 679,000 to around 2.3 million. After a slight dip in the 1990s, they’ve continued to climb year-over-year

Alaska came in first in chlamydia cases with nearly 800 cases per 100,000 residents, and leads the nation in STD infection rates

Alaska came in first in chlamydia cases with nearly 800 cases per 100,000 residents, and leads the nation in STD infection rates

Alaska came in first in chlamydia cases with nearly 800 cases per 100,000 residents, and leads the nation in STD infection rates

For the report, the team looked at data from the CDC’s 2017 Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report.

They found that, over the last 76 years, the number of STDs in the US has increased by 248 percent from about 679,000 to around 2.3 million.

After a slight dip in the 1990s, they’ve continued to climb year-over-year.

In 2017, chlamydia increased by 6.9 percent, syphilis increased by 15.3 percent and gonorrhea increased by 18.6 percent, from the previous year.

‘Chlamydia has had a sharp increase from the ’80s,’ Meg Piedmont, an account manager who works on behalf of Health Testing Centers, told DailyMail.com.

‘Gonorrhea still had the biggest percentage increase, but they’re starting to catch up to each other.’

The report found that despite STDs rising overall, specific states and demographics contracted them more than others.

For gonorrhea, Mississippi had the highest rate in 2017 at about 310 cases per 100,000 with Alaska not far behind in the number two spot

For gonorrhea, Mississippi had the highest rate in 2017 at about 310 cases per 100,000 with Alaska not far behind in the number two spot

For gonorrhea, Mississippi had the highest rate in 2017 at about 310 cases per 100,000 with Alaska not far behind in the number two spot

In regards to chlamydia, Alaska had the highest rate with nearly 800 cases per 100,000 residents.

However, this was not surprising to researchers as the recent outbreak of chlamydia and gonorrhea has placed Alaska leading the US in STD rates.

In fact, Susan Jones, HIV/STD Program Manager at the Alaska Division of Public Health, told KTVA that Alaska has ranked first in the nation for chlamydia since 2001 SITE

For gonorrhea, Mississippi had the highest rate in 2017 at about 310 cases per 100,000 residents, with Alaska not far behind in the number two spot.

While the spike in gonorrhea cases has not been as extreme as that of chlamydia, it has continued to spread.

Researchers believe this likely because the STD has become more and more antibiotic-resistant, which has made treatment very difficult.

Syphilis was the least common of the three infections. Louisiana led the US with the most at 61 cases per 100,000 residents.

According to a CDC report released last year, Louisiana had the highest rate of babies born with congenital syphilis.

‘To protect every baby, we have to start by protecting every mother,’ Dr Gail Bolan, director of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, said in a press release at the time.

‘Early testing and prompt treatment to cure any infections are critical first steps, but too many women are falling through the cracks of the system.’

Syphilis was the least common of the three infections. Louisiana led the US with the most at 61 cases per 100,000 residents

Syphilis was the least common of the three infections. Louisiana led the US with the most at 61 cases per 100,000 residents

Syphilis was the least common of the three infections. Louisiana led the US with the most at 61 cases per 100,000 residents

While all three STDs were most prevalent among young men and women, the older age brackets saw a big uptick.

From 2016 to 2017, chlamydia rates were highest in those 45 years and older and rates of gonorrhea were highest between people between ages 30 and 44.

Additionally, cases of syphilis nearly doubled from 7.5 percent among men ages 40 to 44 to 14 percent among men ages 45 to 54.

‘It applies to everyone,’ said Piedmont. ‘It shows that you can’t assume that as people age that they’re protecting themselves and having safe sex.’

Despite the number of STDs rising, the stigma surrounding these infections is still present and strong.

According to a poll conducted in 2015 by HIV Plus Magazine, 25 percent of people who were diagnosed with an STD didn’t tell their partner.

Additionally, another 49 percent said they had never been tested.

While all three STDs were most prevalent among young men and women, the older age brackets saw a big uptick

While all three STDs were most prevalent among young men and women, the older age brackets saw a big uptick

While all three STDs were most prevalent among young men and women, the older age brackets saw a big uptick

STDs are often associated with promiscuity, but Americans have been having less sex over last 20 years.

In fact, one 2017 study found that US adults are having sex nine times fewer a year on average compared to the late 1990s.

‘There’s a taboo in talking about it, educating people, even [people] asking their partners if they’ve been tested,’ said Piedmont.

‘That’s a roadblock to change and for the overall healthcare for Americans and how to protect yourself.’

One way she says this stigma can be broken is to make STD tests widely available and accessible across the US.

‘[STDs] can be shocking and worrisome, but this is a way we can impact people in lives in a positive way,’ Piedmont said

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