Sexually Transmitted Diseases Are on the Rise in California

Some of you have been naughty. Others not so nice. And we're about half way to Christmas.

The California Department of Public Health this week announced that rates for key sexually transmitted diseases went way up in 2013. Young women have some of the highest rates of STDs in the Golden State, the department said.

Reports of gonorrhea increased 13 percent, primary and secondary syphilis was up 18 percent, and chlamydia, the most common California STD (next to, we assume, HPV),  "decreased slightly," the department said:

Ron Chapman, director of the Department of Public Health, says, "This increase is concerning, particularly because STDs are preventable."

Hear that, people? (Probably not). 

The raw data is scary: There were 216,000 reports of STDs in California for last year.

Those included, according to the department, nearly 168,000 cases of chlamydia, more than 38,000 cases of gonorrhea, more than 3,500 cases of primary and secondarysyphilis, nearly 2,900 cases of "early latent" syphilis, and more than 3,600 cases of "late latent" syphilis.

That's a lot of ointment.

The department doesn't appear to track HPV. It says less than a third of the 100 types of HPV out there are sexually transmitted.

Females ages 15 to 24 had some of the highest rates of STDs. They represented about two-thirds of female chlamydia cases and more than half of female gonorrhea cases reported for the year, the department states:

Young women are the most vulnerable to infertility and other long-term reproductive health problems caused by STDs.

The state's health experts recommend the obvious: Frequent STD tests, condoms, reducing the number of partners, "being in a monogamous relationship" and, of course, "practicing abstinence." 

Good luck with that.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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