New York: Sexual Diseases Increasing in Rochester
January 17, 2008
A CDC report shows chlamydia and syphilis are on the rise in metropolitan Rochester. While the local gonorrhea rate has fallen to at least a five-year low, the STD remains more prevalent in the metro area, which includes Monroe, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, and Wayne counties, than in other areas of the state, leaving public health officials and advocates unsure whether the numbers signal progress.
The report, based on 2006 data, found the chlamydia rate in the Rochester area reached 401.1 cases per 100,000, an 8.2 percent increase from 2005. In all, 4,168 cases were diagnosed in 2006. Dr. Andrew Doniger, Monroe County's health director, noted that more sensitive chlamydia testing and enhanced reporting methods are still so new that "it takes a while for the data to really become more accurate and dependable."
But some experts believe the high rates are not fully explained by better reporting. "The message about safe sex at an early age isn't necessarily getting out there," said Dr. Sheldon D. Fields, associate professor of nursing at the University of Rochester and board president of the Men of Color Health Awareness project. "There's an overall apathy."
The area's syphilis rate more than doubled in 2006 to 8.7 cases per 100,000, with a total of 90 cases. While the local rate was relatively low, the New York-Newark-Edison area's rate was 26.2 cases per 100,000, the bump represents an "epidemic," said Fields.
The report ranks the Rochester area 29th highest in gonorrhea rates among the 50 most-populated US metropolitan areas. In 2006, the area rate was 140.2 cases per 100,000, a 23 percent drop from 2005's rate and the lowest rate since at least 2002.
Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester)
01.06.2008; Justina Wang
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.