STD Rates Increase Nationwide

According to the California Department of Health, more than 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis were reported in the state in 2017. Overall, the transmission rate of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis has spiked by a staggering 45 percent over the past five years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that STDs are rising across the country. From 2015 to 2016 alone, gonorrhea rates in men increased by 22 percent nationwide, while syphilis rates increased by 14.7 percent.

Some of those cases had tragic endings: 30 of the 278 babies affected by congenital syphilis in 2017 were stillborn, the highest number in 22 years. Congenital syphilis occurs when syphilis passes from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby. According to the CDC, up to 40 percent of babies born to women with untreated syphilis may be stillborn or die from the infection as a newborn.

"Half of chlamydia and a third of gonorrhea cases are folks under age 25," stated Dr. Heidi Bauer, the California Public Health Department's Chief of the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Control Branch, in a recent interview. There is not a more crucial time to educate teens about the benefits of waiting until marriage to have sex. It is never too late to start making healthy choices.

Need help getting the conversation started? Consider using a brochure from Abstinence Clearinghouse's Truth Series. The Truth Series includes the following titles: The Truth About STD'sThe Truth About AbstinenceThe Truth about Pornography and the new Sexual Exposure Chart Card.