“We have reached a decisive moment for the nation,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “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.”
It is no secret that STD cases have increased nationwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its annual reports earlier this year. Those reports showed a continuing growth of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis cases among Americans. Certain areas of the country have been affected more severely than others. Florida is among the top ten states for these infections.
According to the CDC there were more than 2 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis reported in the United States in 2016. The state of Florida along had over 93,700 cases of chlamydia, 25,000 cases of gonorrhea and over 21,000 cases of syphilis. STD case rates throughout the American south were higher on average than the rest of the country.
Beyond bacterial infections, Florida has seen an increase in newly diagnosed cases of HIV. In 2015, there were 4,849 newly diagnosed cases of HIV among adults and adolescents in Florida. This was the highest number of new cases of HIV for any state in the United States that year. Young people and gay and bisexual men continue to face the greatest risk of becoming infected with an STD or HIV in Florida.
If diagnosed early enough, bacterial infections can be cured using antibiotics. While the form of delivery and type of antibiotic may vary depending on the specific infection, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis can all be cured. If left untreated, they can develop more serious health issues. While HIV cannot be cured, treatment today exists to help reduce symptoms and prevent HIV from developing into AIDS.
If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to an STD or HIV, you should seek medical care right away. Many times, STDs will not show symptoms. STD testing can help determine the current status of your sexual health.