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There were more than 1.5 million chlamydia cases, nearly 400,000 cases of gonorrhea, and nearly 24,000 cases of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis, the most infectious stages of the disease, the report detailed.
These results point to the need for increased STD prevention efforts, especially among those at greatest risk, officials said.
"STD rates are rising, and many of the country's systems for preventing STDs have eroded. We must mobilize, rebuild and expand services -- or the human and economic burden will continue to grow," Mermin warned.
In recent years, more than half of state and local STD programs have had their budgets cut. Those cuts led to the closure of more than 20 health department STD clinics in one year alone, the report noted. Fewer clinics mean people have reduced access to STD testing and treatment.
Most STD cases go undiagnosed and untreated, putting people at risk for severe and potentially permanent health effects such as chronic pain, infertility and increased risk for HIV. In addition, sexually transmitted diseases cost the U.S. healthcare system nearly $16 billion a year, according to the report.
"The resurgence of congenital syphilis and the increasing impact of syphilis among gay and bisexual men makes it clear that many Americans are not getting the preventive services they need. Every pregnant woman should be tested for syphilis, and sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested for syphilis at least once a year," Bolan said.
-- Robert Preidt
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