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Sexually transmitted diseases control branch

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The mission of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Control Branch is to reduce the transmission and impact of sexually transmitted infections (STI), mpox and viral hepatitis in California, particularly among communities disproportionately affected by these infections. Because diversity, equity and inclusion are at the core of our public health work, STD Control Branch embraces and values the contributions of all communities across California to fulfill our public health mission. In collaboration with local health jurisdictions and other community partners in public and private sectors, STD Control Branch supports equitable STI, mpox and viral hepatitis prevention and control efforts by providing statewide leadership, policy, guidelines, training, technical assistance, surge capacity and outbreak response; and by supporting safety-net service delivery in priority settings and populations.​​​

The number of infants born with congenital syphilis has grown from 33 in 2012 to 483 in 2020, including 149 stilbirths.

From 2020-2021, syphilis in babies – or congenital syphilis – increased 30.5 percent nationwide and 219.3 percent relative to 2017. In 2021, 18 percent of those cases were from California. ​ Prenatal care is crucial for every pregnancy. Without early and regular prenatal care, a pregnant person may not know that their baby is at risk for congenital syphilis.

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