WASHINGTON – Sexually spread diseases continue to rise, with reported chlamydia cases setting yet another record in 2008, government health officials said Monday.
Last year there were 1.2 million new cases of chlamydia, a sometimes symptomless infection that can lead to infertility in women. It was the most ever reported, up from the old record of 1.1 million cases in 2007.
Better screening is the most likely reason, said Dr. John M. Douglas Jr. of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Syphilis, on the verge of being eliminated in the United States about 10 years ago, also has been increasing lately. About 13,500 cases of the most contagious form of the disease were reported in 2008, up from about 11,500 the year before.
Unlike chlamydia, health officials think syphilis cases actually are increasing. Syphilis rates are up among both gay men and heterosexuals, said Douglas, director of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention.