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This New STD Report Will Make You Never Want To Have Sex Again

A new report shows alarmingly high rates of chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections.

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Rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are all on the rise in the U.S., according to a new report from the CDC.

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This data comes from the 2014 STD Surveillance Report, which includes all reported cases of these three sexually transmitted infections in 2014.

The report doesn't include rates of other STDs like HPV, herpes, or HIV, and it obviously doesn't include cases that go undiagnosed. For that reason, the actual rates are probably even higher.

There were over 1.4 MILLION cases of chlamydia reported in 2014 — the highest number of annual cases of any condition ever reported to the CDC.

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This breaks down to 456.1 cases per 100,000 people, which is up 2.8% from 2013. And 65% of these cases were in people between the ages of 15 and 24.

Gonorrhea increased 5.1% since 2013, with over 350,000 reported cases in 2014.

That comes to 110.7 cases per 100,000 people. This was also more common in the under-25 age group, which accounted for 54% of cases.

Rates of syphilis went up 15.1% since 2013, with almost 20,000 reported cases in 2014.

Men account for more than 90% of all cases, according to the report. And of those men, 83% of cases are in men who have sex with men.

While it's possible that men who have sex with men were just more likely to be screened for STDs, that probably didn't affect this finding too much. That's because these are reported cases of primary and secondary syphilis, which by definition come with symptoms, so these numbers also reflect anyone who went to their doctor with symptoms and received a diagnosis of syphilis, rather than just people who went in for regular screenings, explains Dr. Eloisa Llata, epidemiologist and coauthor of the report in the Division of STD Prevention.


One explanation for the rise in STD rates is that more people are getting tested, which is a good thing.

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These infections are all curable, but if left untreated, they can lead to serious health and fertility complications.

"There is no single answer to explain why STDs are increasing this year," Llata tells BuzzFeed Life via email. "These are complex diseases that can be impacted by a number of factors." Those factors, she says, include increased implementation of screening recommendations and increased screening at non-genital sites (like the throat or anus), which all may increase detection of these infections, especially in men.

The CDC has specific screening recommends for women and for men who have sex with men, but unfortunately there aren't clear cut guidelines for everyone.

"CDC’s STD Treatment Guidelines are developed using an evidence-based approach," says Llata. "The process for revising or adopting new recommendations involves an extensive review of available scientific literature, consultations with various medical experts, cost-benefit analyses, and a review of the proposed guidelines by an independent panel of public health and clinical experts."

That said, the guidelines also advise doctors to consider the individual and their unique risks, so it's not saying that you never need to get tested if you don't fit into one of these groups.

Regardless of your gender identity, sexual orientation, or sexual activities, you can always ask to be tested any time you have symptoms, if you had unprotected sex, or if one of your partners has been diagnosed.