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More than 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and early syphilis were diagnosed in California in 2017- a 45% increase in just 5 years.

According to the CDPH, reported cases of chlamydia rose nine percent since 2016 and affected more women than men by about 60 percent.

Rates of sexually transmitted diseases in California reached a record high past year and, state health authorities said Monday.

Read the full report from the California Department of Public Health here. This was the highest number the state recorded since reporting began in 1990. "Seeing it come back like this is a sign of failure of the public health safety net", Dr. Jeffery Klausner, a professor of medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles, told the Associated Press. On the other hand, syphilis can lead to neurologic issues, loss of hearing and blindness. "Most people infected with an STD do not know it". Los Angeles County alone saw congenital syphilis cases jump from eight in 2013 to 47 past year.

CDPH noted that 2017 was the "fifth consecutive year for increases in the number of infants born with congenital syphilis", and that there were 278 congenital syphilis cases, including 30 stillbirths, in California last year.

Dr Heidi Bauer, chief of the state health department's STD Control Branch, agreed that budget issues are part of the problem.

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Washington state health officials said many factors went into the rate rising, but it was partially a lack of knowledge and access to care.

Klausner said that sexual health - and money for education about sexual health - isn't something people like to talk about. While health officials encourage routine screening for STD's, they mention that emerging strains of gonorrhea are outpacing available antibiotics.

The almost half a million nationwide cases of gonorrhea in 2016 is even more urgent. While it may be transmitted through vaginal, anal, or oral sex, it can also be passed on from a woman to her baby during childbirth.

Klausner also said sex education and programs in the community will help lessen the stigma surrounding these conditions.

"Regular testing and treatment are very important for people who are sexually active, even for people who have no symptoms", Smith added. "So in San Francisco, we recommend young women 25 and under get screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea every year with their provider".


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