Louisiana Ranks High on STD Report

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According to the agency, three sexually-transmitted diseases in particular reached a combined all-time high in the United States past year, including tragic cases of newborns who died as a outcome of congenital syphilis.

The WHO report indicated that while all of these infections can be treated with antibiotics, shortages in the supply of enzathine penicillin have made it more hard to treat syphilis and antimicrobial resistance to gonorrhea treatment has also become a challenge. Congenital syphilis is a disease that occurs when a mother with syphilis passes the infection on to her baby during pregnancy.

In a 2018 STD surveillance report, Louisiana made it in to the top 10 highest cases in every category.

Last year, rates of chlamydia cases by state ranged from 198.2 cases per 100,000 people in West Virginia to 832.5 cases per 100,000 people in Alaska, according to the new report.

There were more than 115,000 syphilis cases nationally. Combine that with risk factors such as drug use and poverty, as well as reductions in STD awareness programs at both the state and local levels across the U.S., and you have a recipe for record-breaking STD numbers. "Testing is simple and can help women to protect their babies from syphilis - a preventable disease that can have irreversible consequences". Health officials urge these people to talk to their medical provider about testing for syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and HIV at least once a year. However, nowadays, most local departments-faced with increasing caseloads and limited funding-track only syphilis cases, and sometimes track only syphilis cases involving women of childbearing age or women who are pregnant, according to KHN. The CDC cautioned that many cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis "continue to go undiagnosed and unreported", which means the data recorded only highlights "a fraction of America's STD epidemic". He added, "It takes money, it takes training, it takes resources, and policymakers have just not prioritized that". David Harvey, executive director of the group, said there is an STI "crisis" in the United States "because prevention programs were sold short for years. Without a radical shift in how we prioritize sexual health in the United States, we can only expect things to get worse" (Borter, Reuters, 10/8; Hellmann, The Hill, 10/8; AP/Modern Healthcare, 10/8; Barry-Jester, Kaiser Health News, 10/8).

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