STD Infections Are at an All-Time High in the US

Experts believe STD clinic closures across the country are to blame for the major surge in chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis infections last year.

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Oct 20 2016, 7:07pm

Nope, not how you wear it. Photo via Flickr user Ivan Hernández

According to a new CDC study, the number of people who have been infected with chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis is at an unprecedented high in the US, just in case this year didn't already feel like the end of all that is good in this world.

The study, which was released on Wednesday, found that chlamydia infections rose by 13 percent and gonorrhea infections rose by 6 percent over the course of 2015, disproportionally affecting people under the age of 25. Syphilis cases have also been steadily rising over the past ten years—a whopping 66.7 percent since 2011. All three can be treated with antibiotics, but still.

Dr. Jonathan Merrin, director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention for the CDC, told NPR Thursday that the reason for the STD surge isn't necessarily because people don't want to wrap it up, though.

"Our ability to prevent STDs is only as strong as the public health infrastructure to support it," Merrin says. "More than half of state and local STD programs have experienced budget cuts. In 2012, 20 health departments reported having to close their STD clinics."

So as our public health system erodes, the well of government funding runs dry, and strains of certain STDs become increasingly more resistant to antibiotics, it's probably best to wear a condom, regularly get yourself checked, or keep your pants zipped until the world is overrun with life-like sex robots.