Warning: STDs are on the rise

By Dr. Natalie Vanek, Infectious Disease


A new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are on the rise in the U.S. If left untreated, these sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can cause an increased risk of getting HIV, long-term abdominal/pelvic pain and fertility problems.

Anyone who has sex is at risk but, according to the CDC, some groups that are more affected than others include:

  • People aged 15-24
  • Gay and bisexual men
  • Pregnant women
  • People living with HIV
  • People who have a partner who tested positive for an STD


Chlamydia Gonorrhea Syphilis
Abnormal discharge from the vagina or penile discharge Pain and/or burning with urination Primary stage:

single or multiple painless sores

Burning sensation when urinating White, yellow or green penile discharge Secondary stage:

Skin rashes or mucous membrane lesions

Rectal pain, discharge and/or bleeding Increased vaginal discharge Latent stage:

No visible signs or symptoms

Vaginal bleeding between periods Tertiary stage:
internal organ damage
Anal discharge, itching and/or pain with bowel movements Neurosyphillis and ocular syphilis:

(These symptoms can happen at any stage)


Coordination problems




Vision problems/blindness


Protect yourself
To protect yourself, use condoms with lubricants. If you’re sexually active, get an STD test.  You can have an STD without symptoms.

If you do test positive for chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis, they are curable with antibiotics. See a physician immediately for medication.


Photo: CDC