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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Release the "Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2002"

February 6, 2004

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released its annual report, "Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance: 2002," which documents the trends and distribution of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among 10-44 year-olds in the United States. The report is based on data from STD project area case reports, prevalence data from regional and national monitoring programs, and national sample surveys implemented by federal and private organizations. This issue of SHOP Talk focuses on the STD rates among young people under the age of 25.


Results

The rates for each disease were calculated as the number of infections per 100,000 people.

Gonorrhea Rates in 2002

Women

  • The gonorrhea rate among women ages 15-19 was 675.6, a 3.9% decrease from 2001.
  • Women ages 15-24 had the highest rates of gonorrhea compared to women in all other age groups.
  • The gonorrhea rate among women ages 20-24 was 650.3, a 2.1% decrease from 2001.
  • West Virginia, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, and Alabama reported the highest rates of positive gonorrhea screenings among women ages 15-24 getting tested at family planning clinics.

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Men

  • The gonorrhea rates among men ages 15-19 decreased 12.2% between 1998 and 2002.
  • The gonorrhea rate among men ages 15-19 was 287.9.
  • The gonorrhea rates for men ages 20-24 decreased 16.4% between 1998 and 2002.
  • Men ages 20-24 had the highest rates of gonorrhea when compared to men in all other age groups.
  • The gonorrhea rate among men ages 20-24 was 538.1.

Chlamydia Rates in 2002

Women
  • Women ages 15-19 had the highest rates of chlamydia compared to women in all other age groups.
  • The chlamydia rate among women ages 15-19 was 2619.0.
  • The chlamydia rate among women ages 20-24 was 2570.0.
  • Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Indiana reported the highest rates of positive chlamydia screenings among women ages 15-24 getting tested at family planning clinics.
Men
  • The chlamydia rate among men ages 15-19 was 408.4.
  • The chlamydia rate among men ages 20-24 was 691.5.

Primary and Secondary Syphilis Rates in 2002*

Women
  • Women ages 20-24 had the highest rate of primary and secondary syphilis compared to women of all other age groups.
  • The syphilis rate among women ages 15-19 was 2.2.
  • The syphilis rate among women ages 20-24 was 3.3.

* Unlike the data included under gonorrhea and chlamydia, there are no rates for positive results of primary and secondary syphilis screenings among women ages 15-24 who got tested in family planning clinics

Men

  • The syphilis rate among men ages 15-19 was 1.3.
  • The syphilis rate among men ages 20-24 was 5.5.


Conclusion

The CDC believes that when compared to older adults, adolescents (ages 10-19) and young adults (ages 20-24) are at higher risk for acquiring STDs for several reasons: young people between the ages of 19 and 25 are more likely to have multiple sequential (or concurrent) sexual partners; they may have a physiological susceptibility to such diseases as Chlamydia; and they often cannot or do not access high quality STD prevention services due to lack of insurance, inability to pay for services, lack of transportation to and from STD prevention service providers, and concerns about the confidentiality of receiving preventive care for STDs.

The CDC suggests that to successfully combat the spread of STDs, educators, healthcare professionals, and policymakers need to refocus their efforts, modify how they deliver services, and accept new responsibilities. The report reasons that a successful national initiative to confront and prevent STDs requires widespread public awareness and participation from all levels of society.


For More Information

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance: 2002," U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, September 2003.


  
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This article was provided by Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. It is a part of the publication SHOP Talk: School Health Opportunities and Progress Bulletin.
 
See Also
More Statistics on Young People and HIV/AIDS in the U.S.

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