On the heels of the newly published CDC report indicating a growing number of new cases of STDs, we recently launched the new “Hook Up With Us” advocacy and awareness campaign to address the urgent need for individuals to protect themselves. This new data provides profound insight to STD trends in the US before the COVID 19 pandemic. Preliminary 2020 data also suggests that these staggering numbers only continued to rise, as the COVID 19 pandemic caused major disruptions to testing and treatment services.
In 2019, more than 2.5 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were reported and were the most common STDs found. This accounts for a nearly 30% increase in new cases between 2015 and 2019. Undoubtedly, this causes grave concern as STDs have the potential to lead to serious health consequences, especially if untreated. In some cases, it can increase one’s risk of contracting HIV.
AHF has been promoting sexual health and STD screenings through its innovative public awareness and billboard campaigns for the past several years in response to the overall skyrocketing rates of STDs nationwide, particularly among young people and men-who-have-sex-with-men.
“The recent CDC report showing a 6th consecutive year of increases in STDs is not only alarming but also verifies the ongoing need for education around safe sex practices — more importantly, a direct push for condom usage,” said Michael Wohlfeiler, Chief Medical Officer of AHF. Although medicine has advanced and provided individuals with access to other medications such as PrEP or PEP, these drugs are only effective for preventing HIV. There is a grave misconception that these precautionary health measures are also preventative methods for STDs/ STIs, which is untrue. In addition, we also know individuals simply do not want to use condoms. To say the least, it is more pertinent than ever to encourage those who are “hooking up” to wrap it up, and protect themselves.”