Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

U.S. News
New York: Report Finds Alarming STD Rate in Finger Lakes Region

May 5, 2010

A new Excellus BlueCross BlueShield report shows the Finger Lakes region's chlamydia rate exceeds the state's average, as does the area's rate of gonorrhea among teens.

The region -- composed of Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Ontario, Yates, and Seneca counties -- has a chlamydia rate of 407 cases per 100,000 population, compared with a state rate of 369 per 100,000. The Finger Lakes' gonorrhea rate among those ages 15-19 was 548 cases per 100,000, compared with 314 for teens statewide, the report said, citing three-year average data from the New York State Community Health Data Set-2007. The report examined the 39 upstate counties that are part of Excellus' service area.

Finger Lakes also was highest among upstate regions for rates of HIV (9.5 per 100,000), AIDS (9.3), and syphilis (2.1), though these figures were below the corresponding state rates. A chief concern is that STD infections help facilitate HIV transmission.

Dr. Marybeth McCall, chief medical officer for Excellus, said the report should serve to start conversations between teens and their parents about safe sex and sexual health. "We have to be able to talk about risk, to talk about infections, to talk about symptoms, to have our children seek care," she said.

The region has a history of high STD rates: A 2006 CDC STD Surveillance report showed the Rochester metropolitan area was the highest in the nation for gonorrhea and chlamydia. A 2008 CDC report ranked the city ninth for chlamydia and 27th for gonorrhea.

A large number of college students in the area and the frequency of travel between Rochester and New York City may be reasons for the high rates.

STD education, testing, and treatment are essential, particularly for young people, "who don't think about themselves as having any susceptibility to disease," said McCall.

Back to other news for May 2010

Excerpted from:
Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester)
04.28.2010; Patti Singer

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. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

General Disclaimer: is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.