Oklahoma Has 15th Highest Rate of Gonorrhea
November 15, 2005
According to CDC's latest statistics, Oklahoma's gonorrhea rate is the nation's 15th-highest. However, the state's rate was down 2 percent in 2004 and down 8 percent since 2001, said Michael Harmon, chief of HIV and STD Services for the Oklahoma Health Department. Increased efforts to find and treat the partners of infected patients likely affected the state's 2004 ranking, health officials said.
CDC's recent report on STD trends showed the state had 127 gonorrhea cases per 100,000 residents, worse than the nation's record low average rate of 113 cases. The state reported more than 4,400 cases of gonorrhea. Oklahoma ranked 29th in chlamydia, 36th in primary and secondary syphilis and 24th in congenital syphilis.
Oklahoma is using a $1.4 million CDC grant it received this year for prevention efforts, but targeted messages are needed for sexually active youths, said Harmon. About 40 percent of chlamydia cases are reported in people ages 10-19, he said. "So the question becomes: How do we in public health reduce the number of unintended pregnancies as well as these STDs?" he said.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department offers education, testing and outreach programs to prevent the spread of STDs, said nurse Karen Gillispie.
A $61,000 grant from the state Health Department to the Latino Development Agency pays for two outreach workers and testing and educational materials to fight HIV and STDs, said Adolofo Morales, the agency's HIV/AIDS prevention coordinator.
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.