More Californians were diagnosed with chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis in 2017 than ever before, marking the third year in a row that the state's STD cases hit a record high, officials said.
But California isn't alone; STDs have been on the rise over the past five years across the U.S. As the Times explains, "Experts blame the increases on falling condom use, fewer public health clinics and people having more sexual partners linked to dating apps".
There were 13,605 early syphilis cases reported in 2017, people reporting the first stage of the disease marked by sores in or around the mouth and genitals.
"STDs are preventable by consistently using condoms, and many STDs can be cured with antibiotics", said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer, Karen Smith.
In terms of which STD Butte County has the most of, that answer is Chlamydia. According to the new report, young female Californians comprised of the majority of cases.
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The most reported sexually transmitted bacterial infections in the state, chlamydia and gonorrhea typically don't have symptoms but can cause problems including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility, according to CDPH. Chlamydia rates among girls and women were 60 percent higher than boys and men.
"A lot of students are sexually active, especially younger people, and the hookup culture is pretty prominent", said another.
California's Department of Public Health, Office of Public Affairs published a press release due to the alarming increase of STD's in the state of California.
Rates for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis have been rising nationally for several years. African-Americans had early-syphilis rates two-times higher than whites.
"It may show up as a rash on the palm of your hands or maybe a little bit of a hair loss, and that's not something you commonly think of when someone gets an STD". It can cause severe neurological problems, deformities or blindness, and death. Additionally, an infected mother can spread syphilis to her unborn baby.
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.