Sexually Transmitted Disease Rates Soar: CDC
January 14, 2009
On Tuesday, CDC said new 2007 data on reportable STDs show overall rates of syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea are unacceptably high.
The data show African Americans are disproportionately affected: Blacks comprise 12 percent of the US population but account for 70 percent of gonorrhea cases and nearly half of chlamydia and syphilis cases, CDC said. Black women ages 15-19 have the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea, and gonorrhea rates for African Americans overall were 19 times higher than for whites, the report found.
Gay and bisexual men accounted for 65 percent of syphilis cases in 2007, Douglas said. Many of the cases involve HIV-positive men who choose other HIV-positive men as sexual partners. "Within that relationship, they are less concerned about the transmission of other conditions. They're not using condoms," he noted. "They believe that their partner has already got the worst they can get -- they've got an HIV infection."
According to CDC, when all STDs are factored in -- including human papillomavirus and herpes -- the United States logs almost 19 million new infections annually, with nearly half among those ages 15-24.
Douglas said preventing STDs should be a priority. Teens can delay the start of sexual activity, and people can limit their number of sexual partners and use condoms. "Condoms have risk-reduction value for every sexually transmitted condition," he stressed.
The report is available online at www.cdc.gov/std/stats07/toc.htm.
01.13.09; Will Dunham
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.