November 17, 2009
Common STDs in the United States are at "unacceptably high levels," a CDC official said Monday in announcing the latest statistics on chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
"We have among the highest rates of STDs of any developed country in the world," said Dr. John Douglas, director of CDC's Division of STD Prevention.
Among the report's highlights:
Douglas called for better sex education to address the problem. He said young people should learn about condom use, limit their number of sex partners, and avoid sex with people who have multiple partners. "We are not honestly and openly dealing with this issue and it's the larger issue of sexual health," he said.
Current administration policy has shifted to embrace a more comprehensive approach to sex education, leaving behind the abstinence-only approach favored by the Bush administration.
"We haven't been promoting the full battery of messages," Douglas said. "We have been sending people out with one seatbelt in the whole car."