NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Christian Examiner) – A LiveSciece.com article highlights alarming data in a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report about the sexual health of Americans.
In an article dated Oct. 6, Bahar Gholipour wrote about a 2013 CDC report, based on 2008 data finding 110 million sexually transmitted infections were prevalent for the focal year, among an estimated population of 304 million.
The numbers are particularly staggering among youth and men having sex with men (MSM).
According to the CDC, about 20 million new infections are reported annually, with nearly half affecting 15- to 24-year-olds, although this population represents "just 25 percent of the sexually experienced population." Furthermore, adolescents and young adults accounted for 70 percent of an estimated 820,000 new gonorrhea cases in the U.S.
Other CDC reports identify men having sex with men as accounting for two-thirds of new syphilis infections and three-fourths of new HIV infections, although the CDC estimates gay men compose only about 0.86 percent of the population.
In July 2014 the CDC issued a report stating gays and lesbians accounted for 1.6 percent of the population in the U.S. Tables showed a little more than half of that number (54 percent) were men. Another 0.7 percent described themselves as bisexual and 1.1 percent listed their sexual identity as "something else," or, indicated they did not know, or, declined to give this demographic information.
Projecting trends from the 2008 data, the CDC predicts "most sexually active people will be infected with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) at some point in their lives."
The consequences for the U.S. could be staggering.
In just economic terms, the CDC estimates lifetime costs of combating the eight most common of these infections contracted in one year will amount to about $16 billion, with annual costs reaching $742 million.