The Increasing Prevalence of STDs and What to Do about it?

The Increasing Prevalence of STDs and What to Do about it?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has indicated in its new report about the rising number of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). According to this 2016 report named as Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance, more than 2 million new cases of STDs, including syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, have been reported in the year 2016. This is the highest number of STDs reported by far. The CDC has issued a warning saying that the numbers are expected to rise continuously until changes are introduced.


CDC Findings of STDs

The report issued by the CDC brings into focus three main types of sexually transmitted diseases, each of which is having its oven federally funded control programs. These diseases include syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.

The majority of the new cases emerging in 2016, about 1.6 million, were due to chlamydia. A 4.7 percent rise in the chlamydia incidents has been reported from the year 2015.

Gonorrhea accounted for almost 480,000 causes, with an increase of 18.5 percent since last year. About 28,000 new cases of syphilis emerged which an average increase of 17.6 percent from last year.

By law, it is the responsibility of the doctors to report only these diseases along with the HIV cases. Hence, factoring in other STDs such as herpes increases the prevalence of the sexually transmitted up to 20 million in the United States alone. Almost half of these cases emerge in individuals of ages 15 to 24 years.


The CDC has issued a statement attributing the rise in STD rates to the decrease in the public health program funding related to STDs. In the year 2012, budget cuts were made in the local STDs programs, causing a reduction in their screenings and clinic hours.

The increasing prevalence of syphilis particularly indicates the deteriorating public health and a general lack of access to healthcare facilities.

Moreover, there is no provision of facts-based sexual education among the youngsters because of limited resources. This means that the young people are acquiring these diseases out of unawareness regarding how to protect them and what symptoms to look out for.

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Syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia can be treated with the help of antibiotics, however, it is quite difficult to detect these STDs in the first place. If no proper treatment is provided, these diseases can cause serious health issues, even death in case of syphilis.

What are the Natural and Conventional Treatments for STDs?

You can easily get tested for all three of these STDs by visiting a doctor. It is often advised to undergo another confirmatory test to make sure that the disease has completely disappeared.


Chlamydia is the most common type of STDs. Unfortunately, this disease is asymptomatic and does not usually manifest itself in any way. Whenever it produces symptoms, they do not lead to a final diagnosis.

The most common symptoms of chlamydia in women include vaginal discharge, painful urination, painful intercourse, bleeding between periods, and bleeding after sex.

In men, the symptoms include testicular swelling, painful urination, swelling and redness near the opening of the urethra, and a cloudy discharge from the penis.


If not treated, chlamydia has a potential to cause irreversible damage t the reproductive system of both males and females.

The conventional treatment for chlamydia includes the use of antibiotics that usually lasts for 5 to 10 days. The entire cycle of antibiotics has to be completed to fully eliminate the disease.

Chlamydia can be easily passed to a sexual partner. So, if a person has been positively diagnosed with it, it is advised to refrain from sexual intercourse and to get the partner tested for the disease as well.

Unfortunately, the antibiotics prescribed for the treatment of chlamydia, including erythromycin, doxycycline, levofloxacin, and azithromycin, may produce unwanted side effects in your body.

Hence, it is important to supplement this conventional treatment with a few natural alternatives. Goldenseal is considered as a natural antibiotic with enough power to combat infections.

Echinacea can also help in fighting and eliminating chlamydia, just like raw garlic. You can also consider using oregano oil and use probiotics such as goat’s milk and kefir which will strengthen your immune system against the chlamydia.

If you decide to treat chlamydia infection only with the help of natural remedies, it is going to take a longer time as compared to a regular antibiotics course.

After getting a treatment, it is better to get a confirmatory test before resuming your sexual life.


In 2009, the prevalence of gonorrhea was at an extremely low rate but those are history now. These days, it is getting even difficult to treat this infection as it is becoming resistant to a lot of antibiotics, another cause of antibiotic resistance.

Today, the only treatment that has been approved by the CDC for gonorrhea is a dual therapy including azithromycin and ceftriaxone.


The symptoms of gonorrhea in both men and women are similar and mostly include painful urination and unusual discharge. Gonorrhea has a tendency to spread to other body parts such as throat and eyes.

Alternatives to gonorrhea treatment are crucial because of the rising antibiotic resistance in the patients. A lot of natural treatments have been proposed in this regard such as goldenseal, Echinacea, Berberine, apple cider vinegar and Epsom salts.

Other natural treatments for this infection include black tea, raw honey, probiotics, and L-arginine, all of which can make the symptoms of gonorrhea go away.


Some time ago, it was believed that the United States will completely eradicate syphilis from the root. This did not happen and, in fact, the STD rates of syphilis have been on the rise ever since.

The physicians have expressed a fear that these rates are going to rise continuously until public health funds are not increased. The rates of syphilis are also on the rise among babies.

This means that the mothers who have not been treated properly for syphilis during pregnancy can pass this infection to their unborn child, potentially threatening their lives.

Just like gonorrhea and chlamydia, the general recommended treatment for syphilis include antibiotics. If not treated, syphilis can even cause death, years after the first encounter with the infection.

RELATED: What Should You Know About Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)?

Syphilis often goes undetected because its symptoms are usually mistaken for another disease. The most common symptoms produced by syphilis infection include rashes, fevers, sores, muscle aches, sore throat, and general weakness.


The first line of treatment for syphilis infection includes penicillin. The dosage of the medicine and the duration, of course, depends on the stage of STD that you currently have.

If a patient is allergic to penicillin, azithromycin or doxycycline is often given as an alternative.

Syphilis is a potentially dangerous disease, therefore, it is wise to seek relief from natural remedies while continuing the standard therapeutic treatment. This will help manage the symptoms much more effectively and may even speed up the healing process.

For the patients with syphilis, it is advised to consume mugwort, vitamin B12, ginger, and lots of prebiotics. Such patients may also find relief in Epsom salt baths and even massage therapies.

Exercising on a regular basis may seem irrelevant but can help reduce the intensity of the symptoms as well.

Nancy Walker

Nancy holds a Medicine degree and a Masters of Science MS in Infectious Disease and Global Health (MS-IDGH) from Tufts University. She worked as a lecturer for three years before she turned towards medical writing. Her area of interest are infectious diseases; causes, mechanism, diagnosis, treatments and prevention strategies. Most of her writings ensure an easy understanding of uncommon diseases.

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