Ohio: Young People Make Up Majority of STD Cases in Cuyahoga County
July 16, 2008
Cuyahoga County is experiencing a rise in STD cases among youth, including a steady number of infections among preteens, some as young as 10, according to the Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH).
More than 70 percent of reported chlamydia infections and almost 60 percent of gonorrhea cases in 2006 were among youth ages 15 to 24. Infections among young people in the suburbs have increased at double-digit rates in the last several years. Females represent the majority of cases, probably because they are tested more. Black youths have the highest infection rates.
Health officials are concerned because STD infections make youth more susceptible to HIV/AIDS. Youth HIV/AIDS cases more than doubled to 80 in 2006-2007, according to CDPH.
To encourage testing and treatment, Cleveland is sending out a mobile clinic to recreation centers and other places teens congregate, said Cleveland Health Commissioner Karen K. Butler. Also, the Cuyahoga County Teen Wellness Initiative is trying to get more sex education programs in the schools, especially those in the suburbs.
Another outreach program is "Teens Talking to Teens," run by Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio, the city of East Cleveland, and the Cleveland Hispanic Urban Minority Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Outreach Program.
Some teens 13 and older may not be aware they can get confidential testing and treatment inexpensively at many health clinics. Kelly Faciana of Planned Parenthood said her agency tests about 200 youths a month, and around 12 percent are infected.
Plain Dealer (Cleveland, O.H.)
7.13.2008; Rachel Dissell
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.