Be careful out there: STD rates are up. A lot.
A study of private health insurance claims finds that STDs claims skyrocketed from 2007-2018, nearly doubling. The biggest increases went to:
- Mycoplasma genitalium, a bacterial infection that you’ve probably never heard of unless you filed one of those claims. Cases of it tripled over a decade.
- Chlamydia, America’s most commonly reported STD. Claims for it increased by by 149%, particularly among 19-to-30-year-olds.
- Gonorrhea, America’s second most commonly reported STD, which increased by 126%, and is rising among men, whose claims went up 326% (women’s claims were up 47%)
- Syphilis, claims for which increased by 80%, and is growing among 23-to-40-year-olds.
- Hepatitis B, which is on the rise in people over 50
Keep in mind that these numbers only count people who know that they have an STD (chlamydia, for example, is often asymptomatic), and then seek treatment. Recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show similar spikes in STD rates, which are at all-time highs.
The best things to do are:
- Get tested regularly. Doctor’s offices, Planned Parenthood locations, and many free city clinics offer testing.
- Insist that partners get tested.
- Use condoms, which dramatically cut transmission rates. Here’s Planned Parenthood’s disease-by-disease run down of how condoms lower risks.
- Have fun. It’s supposed to be fun.