The Center for Disease Control (CDC) revealed that infection rates for three major sexually transmitted diseases hit record highs in 2018.

According to the group’s 2018 STD Surveillance Report, cases in the U.S. of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reached a combined 2.4 million, which is an all-time high.

Cases of chlamydia reached 1.75 million in 2017, the most ever. Meanwhile, cases of primary and secondary syphilis totaled over 35,000 — an increase of 14% since 2017 and the largest number reported since 1991. Finally, cases of gonorrhea reached over 583,000, up 63% since 2014 and the most reported in 28 years.

The center’s reasonings for these rate increases include lack of protection use amongst the sexually active, drug use, poverty and resource shortages brought on by cuts made to state and local STD programs and clinics.

The CDC has also issued a warning over the troubling rise in congenital syphilis rates, a by-product of the above-mentioned rise in STD’s overall. Congenital syphilis is a form of the disease that is passed from mother to infant during childbirth. According to the center, the number of reported cases jumped 40% from 2017 to 2018, and the rate of infant deaths from the disease jumped 22%.

“There are tools available to prevent every case of congenital syphilis,” said Dr. Gail Bolan, the director of CDC's Division of STD Prevention. “Testing is simple and can help women to protect their babies from syphilis – a preventable disease that can have irreversible consequences.”

CDC Atlanta
A general view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta, Sept. 30, 2014. Reuters/Tami Chappell