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STD Awareness Month: Syphilis Strikes Back

April is STD Awareness Month, an annual observance to raise public awareness about the impact of STDs on the lives of Americans and the importance of preventing, testing for, and treating STDs. It is an opportunity to normalize routine STD testing and conversations about sexual health.

STD Awareness Month 2017 is here, along with the alarming news that sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) are on the rise. Recent CDC data for three nationally-reported STDs—chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis—show staggering numbers, with cases of all three diseases increasing for the first time since 2006.

Once nearing elimination, national data find that syphilis is thriving. Rates are on the rise among men, women, newborns, a majority of age groups, all regions, and almost every race/ethnicity. Syphilis’s resurgence highlights its ability to affect many communities at anytime and anywhere. We cannot accept this as the new normal, and together, we can and must reverse these increases.

The good news? STDs are preventable! There are steps each of us can take to minimize the negative, long-term consequences of these infections. CDC’s STD Awareness Month web pages are filled with resources and guidance for both providers and individuals. If our goal is to prevent STDs, then we need to know how to talk about them, when to test for them, and how to treat them. You can also join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook with #STDMONTH17 .

 
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