At the end of 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a survey of STDs across the nation. This survey found that last year three infections were at an all-time high. The CDC reported significant rises in chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis infections in 2016.

Not only are these disease becoming common in all sexually active adults, case rates have increased dramatically in young people. Chlamydia was the most common. More than 1.5 million cases were reported in the U.S. last year, up 6 percent from the year before. Nearly 400,000 gonorrhea cases were reported, up 13 percent. And there were about 24,000 cases of the most contagious forms of syphilis, up 19 percent.

One major factor in this increase is the development of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. 2016 saw the first reported cases of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea in the United STates. Previously, this type of STD had never been found on American soil. There were a total of seven cases discovered and all were in the state of Hawaii.

Many experts and the CDC have begun urging medical professionals to avoid the over-prescribing of antibiotics so that the drugs are only used when needed. Overprescribing antibiotics can lead to more strains of antibiotic-resistance. So long as antibiotics continue to be prescribed when not needed, the resistant strains of bacteria grow stronger.

The CDC believes that in today’s world more than 50 percent of all people will contract an STD. This makes the spread of STDs a serious public health concern. All over the country, the rates of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia have been on the rise. This type of increase has caused an urge to cure the infection before it can spread. This is what leads to overprescription.

Other groups have cited a change in the way STD prevention is approached. In recent years many health organizations, such as the CDC, have reduced focus on condom education in favor of abstinence-only education programs. Many health officials, such as the AIDS Health Foundation, believe this is directly responsible for the increase in STDs among young people.

Whatever the reason for it, STDs are on the rise. The only way to know the current status of your sexual health is to have STD testing performed.

1 Antibiotics Overprescribed for Possible STDs: Study
2 3 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Hit Record High
3 AHF: CDC at Fault for Skyrocketing STD Rates; Shift from ‘Unprotected’ to ‘Condomless’ Sex to Blame