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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

UNITED STATES: Syphilis Infections Increased by 11%, Solely Among Men, in 2012: STD Annual Report


Medical Daily (01.09.2014)

Medical Daily reported the results of CDC’s “2012 Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance,” which provided incidence estimates for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, based on state and local STD data from private and public sources. The report excluded non-notifiable STDs, including human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes simplex virus, and trichomoniasis. Although there were many undiagnosed STD infections, close to 20 million new STD infections occurred each year in the United States, with approximately half of new cases occurring among people between the ages of 15 and 24. Each STD infection threatened the overall health of the individual and had economic consequences. Chlamydia incidence remained stable with 1,422,976 diagnoses, but gonorrhea incidence increased 4.1 percent higher than 2011 rates, with 334,826 diagnoses in 2012. Syphilis incidence among men increased 11 percent higher than 2011 rates, especially among men who had sex with men (MSM) and bisexual men. Congenital syphilis incidence decreased to 322 total cases. MSM had higher STD risk than men who had sex only with women. Factors contributing to higher risk for MSM included “suboptimal” testing strategies and individual-level risk factors, including higher number of partners, higher rates of partner change and acquisition, and unprotected sex. Among men who visited STD Surveillance Network clinics, HIV-infected MSM had higher STD prevalence than MSM who did not have HIV. CDC estimated that approximately 25 percent of sexually active adolescent females had an STD such as HPV or chlamydia. The report attributed higher STD prevalence among adolescents to barriers including lack of health insurance and transportation, inability to pay for service, and discomfort with settings designed for adults. Factors that increased STD risk among women included poverty, lack of access to quality STD services, and the behavior of a male partner, even for women who had sex with only one male partner.


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Information in this article was accurate in January 10, 2014. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.