STDs on the rise: CDC says gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia hit record levels in U.S.

By Dennis Thompson for CBS News

The United States is experiencing a "steep and sustained" spike in sexually transmitted diseases, a new government analysis shows.

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Cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia all increased in 2017, making it the fourth straight year in which STD infections continued to rise.

"The United States continues to have the highest STD rates in the industrialized world," said David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors. "We are in the midst of an absolute STD public health crisis in this country. It's a crisis that has been in the making for years."

Concerns are also mounting that gonorrhea could soon become resistant to all current antibiotics, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said.

More than 4 percent of gonorrhea samples now are resistant to azithromycin (Zithromax), one of two antibiotics now used to cure the bacterial infection, the CDC says. That's up from 1 percent in 2013.