LOS ANGELES – Mirroring a statewide increase, Los Angeles County saw an uptick in sexually transmitted diseases last year, health officials announced Tuesday.
According to the county Department of Public Health, there were 59,176 reported cases of chlamydia last year, up 4 percent from the previous year. There were also 22,361 cases of gonorrhea, up 27 percent; 4,018 cases of syphilis, a 16 percent jump; and 37 cases of congenital syphilis, up 67 percent.
Left untreated, STDs can increase the risk of HIV infection and lead to infertility and lifelong health problems, officials warned.
The majority of chlamydia cases occur among people less than 24 years old, and they disproportionately affect black and Latino youth, health officials said. Nearly 75 percent of female gonorrhea cases were among patients aged 15 to 29, while 80 percent of the male cases were among 20 to 44 year olds. Black residents were the group most disproportionately impacted by gonorrhea, officials said.
The county’s efforts to slow disease transmission include a large-scale condom distribution program and a new public health youth advisory council. Goals include working with private sector partners to expand access to testing and treatment.
Statewide, more than a quarter-million STDs were reported in 2016, up 40 percent from five years ago. The cases included 198,503 cases of chlamydia, 64,677 chases of gonorrhea and 11,222 cases of early syphilis. There were 207 cases of congenital syphilis.