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‘Out of control’: rise in STDs, including 26% syphilis spike, sparks US alarm

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Sharply rising cases of some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including a 26% rise in new syphilis infections reported last year, are prompting US health officials to call for new prevention and treatment efforts.

“It is imperative that we ... work to rebuild, innovate, and expand (STD) prevention in the US,” said Leandro Mena of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a speech on Monday at a medical conference on sexually transmitted diseases.

Infections rates for some STDs, including gonorrhoea and syphilis, have been rising for years in the US. Last year the rate of syphilis cases reached its highest since 1991 and the total number of cases hit its highest since 1948. HIV cases are also on the rise, up 16% last year.

An international outbreak of monkeypox has further highlighted the nation’s worsening problem with diseases spread mostly through sex.

David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, called the situation “out of control”.

Officials are working on new approaches to the problem, such as home-test kits for some STDs that will make it easier for people to learn they are infected and to take steps to prevent spreading it to others, Mena said.

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Source: The Guardian, 20 September 2022

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