Sexually transmitted disease rates soar: CDC

By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. syphilis rates rose for a seventh year in 2007, driven by gay and bisexual men, while chlamydia reached record numbers and gonorrhea remained at alarming levels — especially among blacks, health officials said on Tuesday.

Blacks make up 12 percent of the U.S. population, but account for about 70 percent of gonorrhea cases and almost half of chlamydia and syphilis cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Black women ages 15 to 19 have the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea, and gonorrhea rates for blacks overall were 19 times higher than for whites, the CDC said.

Dr. John Douglas, who heads the CDC’s division of sexually transmitted disease, or STD, prevention, said overall syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea rates are unacceptably high. Cases of these three STDs are reported by U.S. states to the CDC.

In 2007, 1.1 million U.S. cases of chlamydia were reported, up from about 1 million in 2006 and the most ever, and the rate rose by 7.5 percent from the prior year, the CDC said in a report. Douglas said the figures may reflect that more people

are being diagnosed rather than a rise in infections.

In addition, more than 350,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported in 2007, essentially unchanged from 2006, the CDC said. Gonorrhea rates fell dramatically from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s, with little progress since.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are easily diagnosed and treated, but frequently have no symptoms and remain undetected.

Untreated, chlamydia and gonorrhea — both bacterial infections — can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in women. The two infections also can cause ectopic pregnancy, chronic pelvic pain and other health problems.

“Of all the causes of infertility, this is probably the most preventable — since these infections can be prevented, diagnosed and treated,” Douglas said in a telephone interview.

In men, gonorrhea can cause a painful condition of the ducts attached to the testicles that cause infertility. Gonorrhea also can spread to the blood or joints and can be life threatening. Chlamydia complications among men are rare.

Douglas said to avoid STDs, teens can delay the beginning of sexual activity, people can limit the number of sexual partners and use condoms. “Condoms have risk-reduction value for every sexually transmitted condition,” Douglas said.

Syphilis is less common than the others, with 11,466 cases reported in 2007. Rates rose 15 percent from 2006. Syphilis rates dropped by 90 percent in the 1990s to a record low level in 2000, and officials thought it might disappear as a public health threat before its resurgence this decade.

Syphilis has increased each year since 2000 — its rate is up 81 percent — with gay and bisexual men representing 65 percent of cases, the CDC said.

Douglas said many cases are occurring in HIV-positive men who are choosing other HIV-positive men as sexual partners.  Continued…

Source

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Related Posts:


By Joene Hendry NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Canadian high school students may lack important knowledge about risk factors for infertility, survey findings suggest. For example, most students were unaware that some sexually transmitted infections can cause infertility. “About 80 percent of students said they were familiar with the term infertility,” Susan Quach, of Sunnybrook and Women’s

Full Post: Teens may not know risk factors for infertility
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Amy Norton NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Electronic “postcards” may offer a new way to alert the partners of patients with sexually transmitted diseases that they may have been exposed, according to a new report. Partner notification has long been a cornerstone of controlling the spread of STDs like gonorrhea, chlamydia and HIV. Traditionally, it’s been

Full Post: “E-cards” may aid in STD notification
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By David Douglas NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In 1999, UK researchers reported that patients with coronary heart disease who attended nurse-led prevention clinics had reductions in death and heart disease events at one year. In 2003, the same team reported that patients who switched to the clinics later on had “caught up,” to the point

Full Post: Prevention clinics help control heart fatal
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Tan Ee Lyn HONG KONG (Reuters) - Up to a third of gay and bisexual men in Hong Kong may be infected with HIV by 2020 if prevention programs to reduce new infections and promote safe sex fail to work, experts warned. HIV is primarily passed from person to person in Hong Kong through sex. The

Full Post: HIV infections up sharply among Hong Kong gay men
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Colorectal cancer diagnoses and deaths have fallen in the United States this decade, but the gap in progress between whites and blacks is widening, the American Cancer Society said on Monday. Improvement has come about chiefly due to prevention and early detection through colonoscopy and other screening methods recommended starting at

Full Post: U.S. blacks lag whites in colorectal cancer progress

Site Navigation

Most Read

Search