Health officials say a record number of Californians were diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease past year.
The Golden State has seen a almost 45 percent increase in three of the most serious STD's - syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea - since five years ago: 300,000 such cases in 2017. New at-home kit promises to be the Amazon of STD testingThat's a 45 percent increase compared to five years ago.
In California, 75,450 gonorrhea cases were reported in 2017, marking it the highest number since 1988.
"We all need to keep making the public aware of and encourage sexually-active individuals to get tested for STDs on a regular basis-and be treated, if and as necessary-and to also use tools like condoms to prevent or reduce the likelihood of infections".
Therefore, in order to educate people and spread awareness about the alarming risks of STD, the health officials are now working with schools, community groups as well as youth organisations across California.
AHF has been promoting sexual health and STD screening through its innovative billboard campaigns for the past several years in response to the overall skyrocketing rates of STDs nationwide, particularly among young people and men-who-have-sex-with-men.
Gonorrhea and chlamydia rates were highest among those below 30 years old.
Female cases of syphilis increased early 7-fold from less than 250 early-cases reported in 2012.
Thirty-three percent of gonorrhea cases in California were in people under age 25.
Officials are also increasing efforts to follow up on cases, especially those involving pregnant women with syphilis, she said.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea were the most rampant among people under 30, with rates of chlamydia highest among young women. If left untreated, gonorrhea can increase chances of getting or transmitting HIV.
She estimated that about $20 million in state and federal money is allocated yearly to fighting STDs - a small number in a state with almost 40 million residents.
Syphilis can cause permanent loss of vision, hearing and other neurological problems. From 2016 to 2017, there were as many cases of congenital syphilis as in the previous 10 years combined. The syphilis rate for African-Americans were two times higher.
Early syphilis, which includes the primary, secondary and early latent stages of the disease, reached the highest number of cases since 1987, the agency found.
"STDs are preventable by consistently using condoms, and many STDs can be cured with antibiotics", said Karen Smith, CDPH director and state public health officer.