NYP- How did you like the 15th century? Not so much? Too bad because syphilis is making a comeback.
According to a new report issued last week by the Centers for Disease Control, there has been a spike in the number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea, but syphilis came out on top with a whopping 19 percent rise over just last year. The spike was felt most by young people aged 15-24.
As usual, experts immediately looked at questions of public funding. Jonathan Mermin, director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention for the CDC, told NPR that “more than half of state and local STD programs have experienced budget cuts . . . [and] our ability to prevent STDs is only as strong as the public-health infrastructure to support it.”
But there are likely other explanations for what’s going on here. Some experts have pointed to the “Tinder effect,” the idea that online hookup sites are making casual anonymous sex easier and more common than it used to be. It’s true that millennials generally are less likely to be sexually active in their 20s than previous generations and the age of first sexual intercourse has ticked upward in recent years, but it seems that the segment of the population who are having casual sex are having more of it and more of it anonymously.