America has experienced some of the worst medical crises in our nation’s history. There is no mistaking the level of devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are a growing number of equally destructive issues befalling the U.S.
An outbreak of monkeypox originated in the United Kingdom. While not deemed a serious threat to the majority of Americans, the first recorded death was reported recently in Los Angeles County. In May 2022, there was an unexplainable rise in children with acute hepatitis.
The COVID-19 pandemic ignited a wave of attributable mental health issues. After a steady rise in suicides over the past 20 years, the pandemic seemed to fuel a growing crisis. The pandemic caused many other mental health issues besides a spike in suicide rates.
David Harvey is the executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors. Harvey refers to the current situation as “out of control.” The statistics support Harvey’s harsh description. In 1998, new syphilis infections in the U.S. dropped to fewer than 7,000 cases.
However, within four short years, syphilis cases started to increase. The main rise in cases was in gay and bisexual men. Again, an alternative lifestyle choice started to create a health crisis across a wide range of sexual persuasions.
The case count continued to rise precipitously. In late 2013, the Centers for Disease Control stopped its efforts to eliminate syphilis in the U.S. That year, cases surpassed 17,000. In less than a decade, cases increased to over 40,000.
The final case count in 2021 was 52,000 reported syphilis infections. That’s a rate of infection of about 16 per 100,000 people. It is the highest rate of syphilis infections in three decades. It appears the CDC’s efforts to eradicate it failed miserably.
It’s not the first public health crisis entrusted to the CDC, where they have failed miserably. Experts say there could be any number of reasons for the increase in syphilis and other STDs. Some insist that poor testing and feeble preventative measures are at fault.
Others blame inadequate funding. The fact that condom use has dropped is clearly a contributing factor. But obviously, an increase in risky sexual behavior must be considered a strong contributor. America has lost more than two years of freedom to a deadly pandemic.
Many have lost their sense of right and wrong. Since the wane of COVID-19, there has been an alarming surge in sexual activity. Some say people feel liberated. Maybe the spike in STDs is part of a deeper problem. Just maybe people don’t care enough to use common sense.