Based on information from the CDC, the rate of chlamydia increased 21 percent, gonorrhea cases increased 67 percent and syphilis cases increased 76 percent in 2017. This amounts to 2.3 million cases in the nation.
Neeket Patel is a Parsippany resident who believes the reason stems from the fact that people who do engage in sexual activity are relying on birth control methods and are under the mistaken impression that sexually transmitted diseases have been cured. They don’t feel as they need condoms anymore. However, condoms prevent the spread of STDs and unwanted pregnancies.
New York City resident Ajayi Robinson said people are just not that concerned about STIs and STDs, so people are under the impression they are safer than they really.
However, if people are not having sex as often, why are the STD rates rising? Perry Halkitis, dean of Rutgers University School of Public Health, said the main culprits is a lack of quality sex education standards and high poverty levels.
He said it just takes one time to transfer the infection from one person to another. Just one partner infected is enough to cause problems. People thinking about sex are concerned about two things: pregnancy and HIV. They don’t even consider the other STDs like syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. They also don’t know that the disease can be transmitted anally and orally.
Since 2012, New Jersey saw its the rate of infection for the three common STDs jump from eight percent to 46 percent. There may also be a link between the rise in STD cases and the drug epidemic.
Halkitis said if someone is of sound mind, they tend to use a condom. However, anyone that drinks or uses opioids, meth or other drugs don’t think rationally. He said drugs are a big factor in the rise in STD cases.
The Center for Disease Control urges every sexually active adult to get tested for STDs each year or when they start a new relationship.
Written by Mark Riegel, MD
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