*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay
According to 2018 data, one in five people in the United States probably carries a sexually transmitted infection, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
On any given day in 2018, nearly 68 million people had a sexually transmitted disease, according to the new CDC report. There were 26 million new cases that year. The agency refers to these diseases — such as HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea — as sexually transmitted infections, or STIs.
Nearly half of newly acquired STIs occurred in people aged 15 to 24 years, and new cases in 2018 would result in nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs, the report said.
People with STIs don’t always have symptoms. Left untreated, some STIs can increase the risk of HIV infection or cause chronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and/or severe pregnancy and newborn complications, according to the report published online in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
“The burden of STIs is staggering,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.
At a time when sexually transmitted infections are at an all-time high, they have fallen out of the national conversation, he said.
“Yet, STIs are a preventable and treatable national health threat with substantial personal and economic impact,” Mermin said in the news release. “There is an urgent need to reverse the trend of increasing STIs, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected many STI prevention services.”