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Sexually Transmitted Disease Rates Hit New Highs, CDC Report Says

Cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are at their highest level ever -- exceeding last year's record levels -- even as STD prevention, testing, and treatment services have eroded, according to the latest Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance report, released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Young people and gay and bisexual men are particularly heavily impacted, and transmission of syphilis from pregnant women to their babies is a growing concern.


STD 2016: Syphilis Rates Are Rising Among Gay Men, CDC Data Show

New state-level data reveal that syphilis cases continue to rise among gay and bisexual men, with men in the south having the highest rates, according to a presentation at the 2016 STD Prevention Conference last week in Atlanta. A related study found that half of gay and bisexual men in 20 cities were screened for syphilis during the past year, with 11% testing positive.


Coalition Calls for Wider Use of Sexual Health Care Services in U.S.

The National Coalition for Sexual Health -- comprised of nearly 40 organizations focused on HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, and other aspects of sexual health -- last week issued a call-to-action and announced new resources aimed at improving access to and acceptance of sexual health services, which are now more readily available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


STD 2016: Growing Threat of Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea in the U.S. and Worldwide

Public health officials in Hawaii have identified the first cluster of gonorrhea cases with reduced susceptibility to both drugs in the current recommended regimen, according to a report at the 2016 STD Prevention Conference taking place this week in Atlanta. While all 7 patients were successfully treated, this cluster underscores the need for new therapies, one of which was presented at the conference.


Helicase Inhibitor Pritelivir Shows Promise Against Genital Herpes

Pritelivir, a helicase inhibitor that interferes with viral replication, reduced the rate of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) genital shedding, which has the potential to reduce sexual transmission, according to a small study described in the January 16, 2014, New England Journal of Medicine.


ASM Microbe 2016: Novel Immune Therapy GEN-003 Improves Genital Herpes

GEN-003, a therapeutic vaccine containing recombinant herpes simplex virus (HSV) antigens, showed significant antiviral activity lasting up to a year and reduced the number of genital herpes lesions and days with recurrences, researchers reported this week at the ASM Microbe 2016 meeting in Boston.


CDC STD Report Shows Rise in Gonorhea, Syphilis

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week released its annual sexually transmitted disease (STD) surveillance report on chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, showing that the latter two infections have increased by 4% and 11%, respectively, with the rise in syphilis occurring primarily among gay and bisexual men.


CDC Releases Updated Sexually Transmitted Disease Treatment Guidelines

In June the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published updates guidelines for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The guidelines include information on more than 2 dozen different sexually transmitted infections, as well as STD complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease and cervical and anal cancer.


ICAAC 2013: Novel Therapeutic Vaccine Reduces Genital Herpes Shedding

An experimental immune-modulating vaccine significantly reduced shedding of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) in people with recurrent genital herpes, according to a late-breaker presentation at the 53rd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC 2013) this week in Denver. The vaccine appeared safe and well-tolerated.


April Is Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Month

April is STD Awareness Month in the U.S., an opportunity to promote education and raise awareness about sexually transmitted infections and to encourage people to get tested. Half of the estimated 20 million STDs that occur in the U.S. each year are among young people, and this year's STD Awareness Month effort focuses on this population.


New Antibiotic Regimens Shown Effective Against Drug-resistant Gonorrhea

A pair of antibiotic regimens using the existing drugs gentamicin or gemifloxacin plus azithromycin work against resistant gonorrhea, but come with side effects, CDC and NIH researchers reported at the 20th Meeting of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research this week in Vienna.


Latest CDC Sexually Transmitted Disease Report Shows Gonorrhea Stable, Syphilis Rising

The number of cases of chlamydia declined slightly from 2012 to 2013, while cases of gonorrhea remained nearly stable and syphilis increased by 10%, according the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) annual STD surveillance report. These broad trends, however, mask some notable differences between population groups, including high STD rates among gay men.


Drug Resistant Gonorrhea Makes its Way into North America

The first documented failure of oral treatment for gonorrhea in North America has been reported in Toronto. The article, Neisseria gonorrhoeae Treatment Failure and Susceptibility to Cefexime in Toronto, Canada, published in the January 9, 2013, Journal of the American Medical Association, provides support for growing concern surrounding the second most prevalent bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the world.

IDWeek 2014: Syphilis Cases Increase Among Men with HIV Despite Risk Reduction Counseling

There has been a substantial increase in the number of syphilis cases among men living with HIV -- particularly men who have sex with men (MSM) -- despite systematic risk reduction counseling in this population since 2008, according to a study conducted at a clinic in rural Pennsylvania presented at IDWeek 2014 earlier this month.


CDC Recommendation: Dual Treatment to Curb Tide of Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea

Increasing fears about the emergence of antibiotic resistant gonorrhea in the U.S. have prompted new treatment and surveillance recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Gail Bolan, director of the agency's Division of STD Prevention, called the move "a critical pre-emptive strike to preserve the last effective treatment option." alt

Chlamydia Widespread in U.S., Task Force Recommends Screening for Young Women

Chlamydia -- the most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. -- had an overall prevalence of 1.7% among people age 14 to 39 in the latest NHANES survey, but this rose to 4.7% among sexually active young women. Updated guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend regular chlamydia and gonorrhea screening for sexually active women age 24 and younger, and for older women at increased risk for infection, but state that there is not enough evidence to make a similar recommendation for men.


WHO Warns of Global Threat of Drug-resistant Gonorrhea

Multidrug-resistant gonorrhea is a growing concern worldwide and millions of people may be at risk of running out of treatment options unless urgent action is taken, according to an alert issued this week by the World Health Organization (WHO).alt

ICAAC 2014: Delafloxacin Shows Promise as a Single-dose Treatment for Gonorrhea

A new antibiotic, delafloxacin, demonstrated potent activity against gonorrhea -- including drug-resistant strains -- in a laboratory study, and its pharmacokinetics suggest that single-dose oral treatment will be feasible, according to research presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy this week in Washington, DC.


Researchers Report Setbacks on Herpes Simplex Vaccine and Treatment

An experimental herpes simplex virus (HSV) vaccine partially protected women against infection with HSV type 1 but not type 2, according to a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine. Another recent study found that antiviral treatment with acyclovir (Zovirax) or valacyclovir (Valtrex) did not prevent periodic HSV-2 reactivation and viral shedding.alt

STD Prevention Conference: Drug-resistant Gonorrhea Rates Plummet in U.S.

Preliminary results announced at the U.S. 2014 STD Prevention Conference last week in Atlanta have shown that the proportion of cases of gonorrhea that are drug-resistant has fallen since 2011, with a sharp decline between 2012 and 2013. The fall is particularly marked among gay and other men who have sex with men (MSM), who had had the highest rates of drug-resistant gonorrhea.

Gonorrhea May Become Untreatable Due to Resistance, Experts Warn

Neisseria gonorrhoeae,the bacteria that cause gonorrhea, are becoming increasingly resistant to existing drugs and more difficult to treat in the U.S., public health experts warn in the February 9, 2012, New England Journal of Medicine.