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In March of 2020, the whole world went on lockdown due to COVID-19 causing thousands to become sick. While being quarantined, many found it difficult to be alone without the company of friends and family being around. Some found it more relaxing without the stress of having to leave the comfort of their own home. The year 2022, has seen a large increase in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) with a rate of 26% in infections of syphilis. The U.S. of Health wants to find new effective treatments and preventions.
The infection rates of some STDs have risen in the past few years, including syphilis and gonorrhea. HIV cases are also on the rise, up 16% since 2021. Last year’s rate of syphilis reached the highest it has ever been since 1991. The global outbreak of monkeypox, which is being spread mainly among gay men, has furthered call attention to the nation’s state-inflamed problem with diseases spread mostly through sexual activities. The whole circumstances were considered uncontrollable, stated David Harvey the executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors.
Officials are working on new advances towards the situation, such as home-testing tools for some STDs. That will make it effortless for people to learn what they might be infected with and what steps could be taken to prevent spreading it to others. Along with making a larger effort to promote the use of condoms.
STDs can be transmitted by people having a lot of unprotected sex. Syphilis is a bacterial disease that exterior as genital sores, but it can ultimately lead to severe symptoms and even death if left the disease is left untreated.
By 2002 a lot of cases began to rise, mostly among bisexual and gay men with cases hitting a little over 17,000. The rates are among the highest among men who have sex with men, in addition to Native Americans, Black, and Hispanics. Woman’s rate is lower than men’s, however, officials had noted that it has been rising countlessly dramatically with the rates going up to about 50% within the last year.
The increases in other STDs may have several causes, according to experts. Prevention efforts and testing have been suppressed by years of poor funding causing the spread to get worse, especially during the pandemic. Those factors could have contributed to the rising rates of sexually transmitted diseases.
The CDC recently sent a letter to local health departments and states saying that their STD and HIV resources could be used to fragment the monkeypox outbreak. But some experts believe the government needs to provide more funding for STD work, not push it to the side.
A few other public health organizations and Harvey’s group of National Coalition of STDs of experts are pushing a presentation for more federal funding. This includes at least $500 million for STD health centers.
Mena, who last year became director of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, wants to stop the stigma around discussions and expand screening and treatment services. He would like to support the growth and availability of at-home testing. “I envision one day where getting tested (for STDs) can be as simple and as affordable as doing a home pregnancy test,” Mena said.
By: Zaylah De La Torre
NBC News: ‘Out of control’ STD situation prompts call for changes
The Guardian: ‘Out of control’: rise in STDs, including 26% syphilis spike, sparks US alarm
Popular Science: STD rates started to spike in the US during the pandemic. Now, they continue to rise. In 2021, the total number syphilis of cases hit its highest since 1948 by LAURA BAISAS
Inset Image Courtesy of 20after4 of Flickr – Creative Common License
Featured Image Courtesy of Zorah Olivia of Flickr – Creative Common License