New Zealand: Rise in Gonorrhea Blamed on Alcohol
April 8, 2003
The Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, District Health Board's acting team leader of health promotion, Lee Wright, said Monday that regional gonorrhea cases have increased sharply in the past two months, and many of those infected are under age 16. Other STDs and unplanned pregnancies have also risen, Wright said. The trend seemed to be similar across the central health district. "We're getting up to three calls a day about gonorrhea, and it used to be one a week," she said. Easier access to alcohol is the main reason for increase in STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and genital warts, she said. "The girls are getting drunk and some don't seem to have any respect for their bodies." Public health nurses who conduct clinics in schools are finding that 90 percent of inquiries are about sex, Wright said. "They're pulling their hair out -- the adolescents have just gone mental," she said. A lot of the girls with gonorrhea are ages 14-16, and some are even younger.Adapted from:
Dominion Post (Wellington, New Zealand)
04.08.03; Bernard Carpinter
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.