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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
May 25, 2021

Sexually Transmitted Disease Cases Continue to Break Records

JAMA. 2021;325(20):2040. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.6937

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases in the US have risen to historic highs, fueling an epidemic that a CDC official said has unraveled 2 decades worth of progress.

The CDC’s 2019 STD surveillance report showed an all-time high that year of 2.5 million reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, continuing a 6-year streak of record-breaking case counts. Congenital syphilis cases quadrupled between 2015 and 2019, often because of inadequate prenatal care and treatment for mothers diagnosed with syphilis. Ongoing increases in STDs are partly driven by reduced testing and STD care as overwhelmed public health departments shifted resources to the COVID-19 response, according to a CDC statement.