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Here's why STDs continued to surge during the pandemic

CDC data shows reported cases dropped during the early months of the pandemic, before surging at the end of 2020.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — COVID-19 had a sizeable impact on the fight against sexually transmitted diseases.

Let's connect the dots.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows reported cases dropped during the early months of the pandemic, before surging at the end of 2020.

Reported cases of gonorrhea and primary & secondary syphilis were up 10% and 7%, respectively, compared to 2019.

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Reported cases of chlamydia, the most common STD in America, went down 13% from 2019. Both South Carolina and North Carolina rank in the top five for the rate of reported cases. Data from the 2020 STD Surveillance report shows S.C. reported 34,118 cases of chlamydia while N.C. reported 64,640 cases. 

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Researchers cite several factors that contributed to the initial decline, including less-frequent in-person healthcare services, which resulted in fewer STD screenings nationwide.

Shortages of STD tests and laboratory supplies, as well as lapses in health insurance coverage, are also factors for the drop in reported cases.

The CDC is calling for more health providers to prioritize STD prevention and make sure every person has access to healthcare free from stigma and discrimination.

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Contact Ben Thompson at bthompson@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

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