STD Infections Still on the Rise

A recent report by the CDC shows that common, treatable infections of ghonnorhea, syphilis, and chlamydia are on the rise.  So who’s the blame for the increase in these STDs?  According to John Douglas, you and me, ignorant American!

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American squeamishness about talking about sex has helped keep common sexually transmitted infections far too common, especially among vulnerable teens, U.S. researchers reported Monday.

Latest statistics on chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis show the three highly treatable infections continue to spread in the United States.

“Chlamydia and gonorrhea are stable at unacceptably high levels and syphilis is resurgent after almost being eliminated,” said John Douglas, director of the division of sexually transmitted diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We have among the highest rates of STDs of any developed country in the world,” Douglas added in a telephone interview.

“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.”

The blame falls on people to spread the message on how to treat these common disease.  However, look at these statistics I’ve highlighted.

* 1.2 million cases of chlamydia were reported in 2008, up from 1.1 million in 2007.

* Nearly 337,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported.

* Adolescent girls 15 to 19 years had the most chlamydia and gonorrhea cases of any age group at 409,531.

* Blacks, who represent 12 percent of the U.S. population, accounted for about 71 percent of reported gonorrhea cases and almost half of all chlamydia and syphilis cases in 2008.

* Black women 15 to 19 had the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea.

* 13,500 syphilis cases were reported in 2008, an almost 18 percent increase from 2007.

* 63 percent of syphilis cases were among men who have sex with men.

Ah, notice the elephant in the room?  These diseases is prevalent amongst historically-poor minority Americans.  If I had to guess, these infections are also common in the inner cities, where education is poor, as is access to adequate medical care.

I don’t think the problem here is education.  I think the problem here is rampant poverty in urban areas, poverty that’s been prevalent in the ghetto for 40 years.  I also think the obsession with sex amongst teens, especially at-risk teens, driven by a popular culture obsessed with sex, has really helped this STD explosion more than you and I talking to kids about sex.

Kids are bombarded with sex daily, from dolls, to TV shows, to movies, to music.  There’s no escaping it.  A society with an unhealthy preoccupation with sex is exacerbating the problems.

I am also concerned that nearly 2/3 of all syphilis cases occur within the gay population.  Syphilis is a nasty disease.  The fact the disease is growing in prevalence is not due to government policy but a breakdown of social and individual responsibility.


1 Response to “STD Infections Still on the Rise”

  1. 1 Jim
    December 22, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Doc, I know you’re a big fan of vaccines and modern medicine. Did you get your daughters their Gardasil vaccines yet?

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My name is Doc. Welcome to my blog. If you're visiting from another blog, add me to your blogroll (and I'll happily reciprocate). I have a Ph.D. in Chemistry and live in Wisconsin. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. My email is docattheautopsy at gmail. (No linking to deflate the incredible spam monsters).



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