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Sexually transmitted diseases reach record high in U.S., says CDC

Cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reached a record high in 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday, with 2.3 million diagnosed cases.

The rapid rise may be in part due to a decrease in condom use and mutating strains of infections that resist antibiotics. "We have seen steep and sustained increases over the last five years,” Gail Bolan, director of the CDC's Division of STD Prevention, told NBC News. "Usually there are ebbs and flows, but this sustained increase is very concerning."

Gonorrhea diagnoses increased 67 percent between 2013 and 2017, while syphilis diagnoses increased 76 percent. The rate of chlamydia, the STD most often reported to the CDC, has remained fairly steady, but the prevalence of all three diseases broke previous 2016 records. The most recent data showed an increase of more than 200,000 cases in just one year.

"We are sliding backward," said Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. "It is evident the systems that identify, treat, and ultimately prevent STDs are strained to near-breaking point." Read more at NBC News.