- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Centers for Disease Control released a new report this month revealing the U.S. health care system handles roughly 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections annually, costing the nation $15.6 billion.

The report says that sexually transmitted infections are taking a “severe human and economic burden” on the United States. There are currently 110 million cases in the country, with half of those affecting young adults ages 15 to 24.

Sexually transmitted infections place a significant economic strain on the U.S. healthcare system, according to the report.

“Because some STIs — especially HIV — require lifelong treatment and care, they are by far the costliest. In addition, HPV is particularly costly due to the expense of treating HPV-related cancers. However, the annual cost of curable STIs is also significant ($742 million). Among these, chlamydia is most common and therefore the most costly,” the report says.

The CDC promoted Gardasil, the only vaccine that protects against all four types of HPV, though it didn’t specifically name the drug in the report.

“CDC recommends that all teen girls and women through age 26 get vaccinated, as well as all teen boys and men through age 21 (and through age 26 for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men). HPV vaccines are most effective if they are provided before an individual ever has sex,” the report states.

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Gardasil has been linked to thousands of adverse reactions and debilitating side effects, including death in at least 20 cases. Side effects reported by the government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System include paralysis, convulsions and blindness, Judicial Watch reports.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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