“Cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia are going up in California at a concerning rate,” Dr. Karen Smith, director of the California Department of Public Health, said in a statement on Tuesday. “This is the second year in a row that we have seen increases in all three diseases.”
In 2015, the state had the most cases of the three major STDs, since record keeping began in 1990. There is also a significant 12 percent increase from 2014, which had been the worst year, until 2015 broke the unfortunate record.
Things are especially bad in Los Angeles County.
“In 2015, there were 479 chlamydia cases per 100,000 people in the United States, compared with a rate of 486 in California and 560 in Los Angeles County. There’s a similar trend with gonorrhea and syphilis, with rates in L.A. County exceeding California, and California exceeding the nation,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
“We have reached a decisive moment for the nation,” Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement. “We must mobilize, rebuild and expand services — or the human and economic burden will continue to grow.”
Mermin believes that part of the rise in infections is due to clinics reducing capacity or closing, making testing, and therefore prevention, less available.