Welcome to the Hotel California, such a lovely place that now has a record high of sexually transmitted diseases. You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.
According to USA Today, "The number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases in California reached a record high last year and officials are particularly concerned by a spike in stillbirths due to congenital syphilis, state health authorities said Monday."
In 2017, the California Department of Public Health saw a 45% increase from just five years ago in cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis: 300,000 reported cases. For people under the age of 30, chlamydia and gonorrhea were the most common STDs reported. Young women reported the highest rates of chlamydia; young men reported the majority of syphilis and gonorrhea cases.
"The figure that caused the greatest alarm for researchers and administrators was 30 stillbirths resulting from congenital syphilis statewide — the highest number reported since 1995, the CDPH said," reports USA Today. "Los Angeles County alone saw congenital syphilis cases jump from eight in 2013 to 47 last year."
Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a professor of medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, called the findings "shameful."
“For California to have a steady increase in congenital syphilis is shameful,” said Klausner, citing countries like Cuba, Thailand and Belarus as nations to have supposedly eliminated the infection among infants. “We’ve known how to control syphilis since early 1900s. Seeing it come back like this is a sign of failure of the public health safety net."
While any casual observer could easily attribute this to the collapse of morality, with cities like Los Angeles serving as host to the Amber Rose SlutWalk for three years in a row, Klausner blames the financial crisis of 2008 and the "decimation" of the public health infrastructure.
"Dr. Heidi Bauer, chief of the state health department’s STD Control Branch, agreed that budget issues are part of the problem," reports USA Today. "She estimated that about $20 million in state and federal money is allocated yearly to fighting STDs — a small number in a state with nearly 40 million residents."
"Bauer also suggested the rise in STDs may be a symptom of more general problems in areas such as the economically hard-hit San Joaquin Valley where people are struggling with poverty, substance abuse, mental health issues and homelessness."
Not a single expert cited by USA Today blamed the obvious problem: having sex with multiple partners outside of marriage, though Dr. Bauer did lay some of the blame on the Affordable Care Act for "funneling of patients away from public health services." Basically, the lack of taxpayer dollars going to public resources is responsible for an upsurge in chlamydia.
“For sexual health, primary care wasn’t the most effective method,” Bauer said, saying patients had a hard time discussing STDs with their doctors and would have gone to a public health clinic instead.
Next, they'll be going on about how taxpayers should keep funneling their dollars to Planned Parenthood, the organization that openly fights abstinence until marriage education.
According to a study out of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Waterloo in Canada, as well as the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, abstinence-only education works even when it does not have a moral component attached.
As reported by NPR, the study showed that when 662 black American junior-high schoolers were given abstinence-only education, sexual activity dropped significantly.
The researchers developed a curriculum that was designed to get middle schoolers in the 6th and 7th grades to put off having sex until they were more more mature and could handle the consequences.
There were no lectures. It was an interactive program. The young people had discussions about resisting peer pressure, through role playing and games.
Unlike previous programs it did not define abstinence as delaying sex until marriage.
Two years after completing the program, a survey showed that the abstinence training was effective in getting 67% of the kids to delay having sex. That's compared to 48% of students in another group who only received basic health information.
The one silver lining is that, even in this sexually-charged environment, millennials and Gen Z are actually having less sex than any generation previously. The people who will soon attend the "World's Biggest Orgy" in Las Vegas seem to have forgone the memo.