Missouri: Increase in STDs Reported in 10- to 14-Year-Olds
May 5, 2010
In 2008-09, north-central Missouri recorded 57 STD cases among adolescents ages 10-14, up from 30 cases in 2004-05, according to data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
"That is just staggeringly frightening to us, that we had 57 cases in two years," said Kimberly Wright, operations manager for Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN)-Central Missouri. Though the data do not indicate whether cases were linked to incest, rape, or consensual sex, "That's very young to be dealing with sex, much less to be dealing with STDs," she said.
Due to funding cuts, RAIN in Columbia was recently forced to end off-site screening for HIV, hepatitis C, and STDs. RAIN officials fear its prevention education program will be next, at a time when STDs are climbing among local youths.
RAIN still offers testing at its 1123 Wilkes Blvd. facility, Wright said. Most of the agency's funding goes to services -- not the nonprofit's 13 employees.
"We're not getting money to actually run the program," Wright said. "We're at risk of losing our prevention education program altogether." RAIN has launched the "One of 1,000" campaign, asking 1,000 individuals, businesses, and organizations to donate $100 to the agency for prevention education and testing services.
This year, the Columbia/Boone County Department of Health and Human Services instituted a $10 fee for screening residents for STDs. Boone County has the third-highest number of STD cases in Missouri, behind Jackson (Kansas City) and St. Louis counties.
04.29.2010; Jodie Jackson Jr.
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.