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CDC report highlights some STDs on the rise

Pregnant Woman 

STDs and the effect on pregnancy

When a woman is pregnant, STDs (or sexually transmitted diseases) can be even more serious for her and her baby. A pregnant woman with an STD can transmit that infection to her baby before, during, or after the baby’s birth. She may also experience early labor or early rupture of the membranes surrounding the baby in the uterus. Pregnant women should ask their doctors about getting screened or tested for STDs, since some doctors do not routinely perform these tests. Pregnancy does not provide women or their babies any protection against STDs. The consequences of an STD can be significantly more serious, even life threatening, for a woman and her baby if the woman becomes infected with an STD while pregnant.
It is important to remind your readers of the harmful effects of STDs and how to protect themselves and their children against infection. Some STDs, such as genital herpes and bacterial vaginosis, are quite common in pregnant women in the United States. Other STDs, notably HIV and syphilis, are much less common in pregnant women. It is also important to note that STDs can cause several serious long-term health consequences such as cervical and other cancers, chronic hepatitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and other complications. Many women who have STDs have no signs or symptoms. The harmful outcomes of STDs in babies may include stillbirth, low birth weight, eye infection, pneumonia, infection in the baby’s blood stream, neurologic damage, blindness, deafness, acute hepatitis, meningitis, chronic liver disease, and cirrhosis. The surest way to avoid transmission of a sexually transmitted disease is to abstain from sexual contact, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected. Another way to protect yourself is latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly they are highly effective in preventing transmission of STDs.


Reports of infections from sexually transmitted diseases are increasing among certain groups, according to government data.
"STDs continue to threaten the health and well-being of millions of Americans," says Hillard Weinstock, one of the authors of the 2011 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Gay and bisexual men as well as young people are affected in particular, adds Weinstock, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention.
In 2011, 1.4 million chlamydia infections were reported to the CDC. The rate of cases per 100,000 people increased 8%, to 457.6 in 2011 from 423.6 in 2010.
The CDC reported 321,849 gonorrhea infections. The rate increased 4% to 104.2 cases per 100,000 in 2011 from 100.2 in 2010. Like chlamydia, gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, a major cause of infertility in women.
Last year, 13,970 primary and secondary syphilis cases were reported. The rate of 4.5 cases per 100,000 was unchanged from 2010. About 72% of cases were among men who have sex with men.
Syphilis can lead to paralysis, dementia and death. It also can facilitate the transmission of HIV infection.

When the CDC has sex news it's rarely good news, and today's announcement was no exception. The Centers for Disease Control has release a new report called "Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2007," which indicates that cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia are all on the rise.
According to the study, there were over 350,000 reported cases of gonorrhea and clamydia exceeded 1.4 million in 2007. Other highlights from the report included the fact that 19 million new STDs were contracted in 2007, and that this STD epidemic cost the U.S. healthcare system in excess of $15 billion dollars - enough to bail out the auto industry!

It's debatable whether this story is more or less disturbing than the CDC's revelation last year that 25% of all teenage girls (14 to 19) had an STD. To add insult to injury, among the girls who were infected, 15% had more than one STD.
The CDC's report suggests a series of steps we can all take to reduce the transmission of STDs (abstinence, monogamy, protection, frequent testing). However, since the ostrich approach ("stick head in sand, repeat as necessary") seems to be working so well, it seems likely that another ominous CDC report on our sexual health will soon be forthcoming.
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Read more at http://news.healthguru.com/article/cdc-has-more-bad-news-stds-on-the-rise#xY3CPfdLX8OVDlS2.99 

World AIDS Day

Worldwide, there are 34 million people living with HIV, and according to UNAIDS, approximately 2.7 million new infections occurred in 2010. In the United States, nearly 1.2 million people are living with HIV and an estimated 50,000 new HIV infections occur each year. December 1st marks World AIDS Day, the day to raise awareness of the global impact of HIV/AIDS. This day also recognizes the success to date of global and domestic programs and the number of lives saved. 
CDC is committed to saving even more lives.  As a science-based public health and disease prevention agency, CDC provides support to nearly 80 countries to strengthen their national HIV programs and build sustainable public health systems through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). CDC works side-by-side with Ministries of Health in these countries and with other partners to implement sustainable HIV/AIDS interventions, and to measure their effectiveness in reducing infections and deaths from HIV/AIDS.
Within the U.S., CDC is implementing High-Impact Prevention in support of President Obama’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which guides the nation’s HIV prevention efforts for combating the epidemic. High-Impact Prevention is designed to maximize the impact of prevention efforts for all Americans at risk for HIV infection, including gay and bisexual men, communities of color, women, injection drug users, transgender women and men and youth. By using combinations of scientifically proven, cost-effective and scalable interventions, CDC can target the right populations in the right geographic areas -- making every prevention dollar count.
World AIDS Day is a time to remember the devastating toll this disease has taken – and continues to take – on people in the United States and around the world.  It is also a day to celebrate the strides we have made in preventing HIV, and look ahead to the work we still have to do.
HIV testing should be a routine part of healthcare.  CDC recommends:
  • All adults and adolescents get tested at least once.
  • People at high risk for HIV get tested more often. Those at the highest risk (including Injection-Drug Users and their sex partners, persons who exchange sex for money or drugs, sex partners of HIV-infected persons and heterosexuals or men who have sex with men who themselves or whose sex partners have had more than one sex partner since their most recent HIV test) get tested at least annually.
  • Women get tested during each pregnancy.
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