Ohio: New HIV Cases in Cleveland Up for 4th Year, Report Says
May 29, 2007
A 90-page STD report released Thursday shows that new HIV cases in Cleveland have increased for the fourth straight year. Public health officials believe the spike is being driven by high-risk behaviors among adolescents and young adults.
Officials are especially concerned about the number of AIDS diagnoses in black and Hispanic males under age 30 in the past three years. They are uncertain how long the men were infected and putting others at risk.
The increase in new HIV cases may be due to more people, particularly black women, being tested. Doctors and clinics are being urged to test more for STDs, noted Dr. Ann Avery, medical director for the Cleveland Health Department (CHD).
The report shows an overall decline in Cuyahoga County's rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea, but around three-quarters of the chlamydia cases reported in 2005 -- the most recent data available -- occurred among people ages 15-24. For gonorrhea, the figure was about 60 percent.
People infected with both chlamydia and gonorrhea are at higher risk for acquiring HIV, said David Bruckman, a CHD epidemiologist who compiled the statistics for both Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.
The high STD rates among young people underscore the need for keeping the sweeping sex education curriculum introduced last fall by Cleveland public schools, say officials. While the K-12 program has strong political backing, its financial future is somewhat uncertain. Approximately $1.7 million in federal money was disbursed to Cleveland, Parma and East Cleveland schools last year, and an additional $1.3 million is being sought this year.
To view a copy of the STD report, visit www.clevelandhealth.org/hivstats.
Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
5.25.2007; Regina McEnery
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.