PHOENIX - More and more Americans are getting a sexually transmitted disease, as officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just reported the highest rates they have ever recorded.
For the fifth straight year, CDC officials say cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia are up. In 2018 alone, a total of 2.4 million infections were diagnosed and reported
In Arizona, the rates are even higher than the nation's average, having tripled since the year 2000.
"In Arizona, we are in the top 5 of positive syphilis where there is neonatal syphillis, congenital syphilis or syphilis in general," said Dan Quan, Emergency Medical Physician at Valley Wise Health.
Doctors at Valley Wise Health say they are constantly testing for STDs. The CDC says the reason for the higher rates of STDs could be because of more tests and diagnoses.
"It is something that a lot of people may not have symptoms so they may not have an STI, so screening is important," said Quan.
The health department says the rise in syphilis is most concerning, and has led to multiple stillbirths. In 2018, there were 61 cases of syphilis in babies and 10 cases resulted in death. Doctors say it is important to avoid these devastating cases by taking precautions.
"We have to get back to safe sex, using barrier devices, risky behavior," said Quan.
The health department says STD screening and prevention is critical because it could cause problems during pregnancy and possibly impact the baby's health.