Happy Valentine’s Day: CDC Announces An ‘Ongoing, Severe Epidemic’ Of STDs

Researchers for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued two studies regarding sexually transmitted infections (STIs), each illuminating an “ongoing, severe, STD epidemic.”

The studies highlight infection data related to eight of the most common communicable bacterial and viral STIs: human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B, HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and trichomoniasis.

The CDC reports trichomoniasis is the most common, especially among women, curable parasitic STD. In the US, an estimated 3.7 million people have the infection, but only about 30 percent develop any symptoms of trichomoniasis; burning and discharge.

In this particular study, it was revealed human papillomavirus (HPV) was the most common infection found among the afflicted populous, a viral condition linked to reproductive cancer.

Failure to seek treatment for sexually transmitted diseases can result in persistent infections, continued transmission to sexual partners, and infertility.

The reports, which were published in the Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, disclose the startling estimated medical costs associated with STIs as well as assessed infection rates.

In the US, the cost of treating sexually transmitted diseases annually is nearly $16 billion. HIV and AIDS requires lifetime care therefore they were considered the most expensive. Preventing STIs could save the US billions of dollars and save thousands if not millions of lives.

The agency reported 19.7 million new STD infections in 2008. CDC epidemiologist Catherine Lindsey Satterwhite indicated half of the annual cases were of those in the 15 to 24 age demographic. About 110 million men and women of all ages compose the total number of infected in the US based on 2008 CDC approximations.

Satterwhite, who led the study of incidence and prevalence, told NBC News:

“STIs take a big health and economic toll on men and women in the United States, especially our youth.”

Sexually transmitted disease and infection education programs, informative studies, and a thorough understanding of prevention are important in combating an ongoing epidemic.

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