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Uh Oh! Angelenos Have Way More STDs Than They Did Five Years Ago

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Well done Angelenos. You've earned some top-marks in a national report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that tracks the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in the American Public. Want to guess the name of the county with the highest number of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis infections in the entire country? If you guessed, Los Angeles County, congratulations! Your prize is a free condom.

Well, actually, that statistic is a little bit misleading. Given that L.A. County is the most populous county in the entire country, it's only natural that there would be more STDs here than anywhere else. More to the point, the report highlights how the rates of STD infection in the greater Los Angeles area (and the whole country, but especially in L.A.) are way up when compared to just five years ago.

Take the number of reported chlamydia cases. In 2011, the CDC tracked a total of 58,552 reported chlamydia cases throughout greater Los Angeles. By 2015, that number increased roughly 17 percent to 68,285. This works out to a rate of about 515 cases per 100,000 people living here.

Rates of gonorrhea infection have also increased—actually quite a bit more than chlamydia. The CDC recorded 11,105 cases of gonorrhea in Los Angeles in 2011. That number nearly doubled to 19,867 in 2015, an increase of about 79 percent.

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The story is the same with syphilis. In 2011, just 3,247 cases were reported in the greater L.A. area. That number increased to 5,812 cases in 2015, also an increase of 79 percent. Remember all those billboards advertising a "syphilis explosion" in L.A. a couple years ago? Turns out they weren't lying.

"We have reached a decisive moment for the nation," said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, The CDC's director of its National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, in a statement. "STD rates are rising, and many of the country's systems for preventing STDs have eroded. We must mobilize, rebuild and expand services—or the human and economic burden will continue to grow."

As always, the rates of infection are highest in people aged 15-24, though those in their late 20s and 30s also have relatively high rates of infection. By there 40s, people seem to figure out how not to get STDs, or they just stop trying.

[H/T L.A. Daily News]

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