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U.S. News

California: State, County STD Rate "a Shock"

October 11, 2007

An estimated 1 million young Californians contracted an STD in 2005, according to a new study. "We were expecting high numbers ... but this was a shock even to us," said study leader Petra Jerman, an epidemiologist with the Public Health Institute in Oakland.

CDC developed a computer model that its researchers used in 2004 to estimate that 9.1 million new STD infections occurred among 15- to 24-year-olds in the United States in 2000, resulting in direct medical costs of $6.5 billion. Using the same model, Jerman and colleagues estimated that 1.1 million new STD infections took place in California among people in this age group in 2005, resulting in $1.1 billion in direct medical costs.

The new California report estimated 590,000 human papillomavirus infections, 250,000 trichomoniasis infections, 180,000 cases of chlamydia, and 2,900 HIV infections. The estimated lifetime direct medical expense for each case of HIV is $190,797, for a total cost of $560 million - meaning the HIV cases accounted for more than half the cost of all new infections.

"It's really disturbing that we have not been able to make more progress" against STDs, said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

"We need to have not just a local plan but a state plan to move forward and to not ignore any longer a health problem so serious and large among our young population," said Dr. Peter R. Kerndt, Los Angeles County's STD Program Director.

Estimated cases by county were as follows: Los Angeles, 361,876; San Diego, 85,523; Sacramento 77,013; San Bernardino, 75,606; Alameda, 62,417; Orange, 53,566; Fresno, 45,768; Kern, 40,830; Santa Clara, 34,090; and San Francisco, 30,116.

The full report, "Sexually Transmitted Infections Among California Youth: Estimated Incidence and Direct Medical Cost, 2005," was published in the Californian Journal of Health Promotion (2007;5(3):80-91).

Back to other news for October 2007

Adapted from:
Los Angeles Times
10.10.2007; Thomas H. Maugh, II

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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.
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