STDs can lead to chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. A pregnant woman can pass STDs on to her baby, leading to serious disabilities or death in the infant. STDs increase the risk for acquiring HIV, especially men who have sex with men, undoing the gains that have been made in HIV prevention and care. For more information on National trends, please see the recently released STD Report at http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats15/.
Colorado is also experiencing historically high rates of STDs, although at lower rates of disease than the national trends. • There were significant increases in chlamydia. The number of male cases has increased over time, but females remained disproportionately impacted and have a rate twice that of males. • Gonorrhea also significantly increased for the second year in a row. Males continue to be disproportionately impacted by gonorrhea in Colorado, but the state is seeing increases in the number of female cases, particularly in 15-24-year-olds.
October 26, 2016 | Volume 16, Issue 43
Syphilis rates have also increased since 2014, accounting for an over 200 percent increase in this disease since 2006. Ninety-eight percent of primary and secondary syphilis occurs in men, in particular men who have sex with men.
Different than national trends, Colorado has not had a congenital syphilis case reported since 2007. Continued vigilance of testing pregnant women and testing and treating men who have syphilis will keep this trend consistent into the coming years.
An effective national and local response to the current STD epidemic will require engagement from many. Providers should make STD screening a standard part of medical care, especially in pregnant women. With insurance coverage at an all-time high, there are also more opportunities to integrate STD prevention and treatment into prenatal care and other routine visits.
Individuals can talk openly about STDs, get tested regularly, and reduce their risk by using condoms or practicing mutual monogamy if they are sexually active. Parents and providers can have honest conversations with young people about STD prevention. State and local health departments should continue to direct resources to those hardest hit by the STD epidemic and
work with community partners to maximize their impact.