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In 2000 and 2001, the national rate of reported primary and secondary syphilis cases in the United States reached the lowest since reporting began in 1941. In 2009, the rate of gonorrhea cases reached a historic low. Now this progress has unraveled. Sexually transmitted infections—syphilis, gonorrhea and a third illness, chlamydia—hit an all-time high in the United States last year.

This should not be happening.

Tools exist to fight these diseases, including prevention education, testing and antibiotic treatment.

On the federal level, spending has been slipping; the House has wisely approved a $10 million uptick, and the Senate ought to follow suit.

When it comes to fighting sexually transmitted diseases, there are no excuses. This is a battle that can and should be won.

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