Health officials say a record number of Californians were diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease a year ago.
As per the report released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), over 300,000 cases of gonorrhoea, syphilis and chlamydia have been reported in the year 2017, which is a 45 percent jump in such cases from the data collected five years ago.
The report said that people who are under the age of 30 are the ones who suffer with chlamydia and gonorrhoea. Young women made up the majority of chlamydia cases; men accounted for the majority of syphilis and gonorrhea cases.
In the last few years, Kern County has seen sexually transmitted disease rates soar, putting Kern's STD rates among the highest in the state.
Chlamydia cases have reached the highest number in almost three decades, with 218,710 new cases reported past year.
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"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.
The report shows chlamydia and gonorrhea rates for African-Americans were 5 times higher than for whites. "Most people infected with an STD do not know it". The syphilis rate for African-Americans were two times higher. This is up significantly from past year when 1,805 cases were reported. More than half were reported among individuals under 25. Rates among boys and men were twice as high than among girls and women.
In Los Angeles County, gonorrhea cases more than doubled since 2013. Being diagnosed with syphilis during pregnancy can also put the unborn baby at risk of having a low birth weight, being delivered early or death (stillbirth).
The CDPH expressed plans to collaborate with local health departments and organizations in order to raise awareness about regular testing, safe sex practices, risks and treatment options, etc.
Congenital syphilis led to 30 stillbirths in 2017, the highest since 1995 and the fifth consecutive year that number rose, the agency said. Untreated syphilis can lead to permanent vision loss, hearing, and other neurologic problems.