Sexual health and CDC figures

The Centres for Disease Control and prevention have released their annual report on sexually transmitted diseases and the sexual health of US citizens. The CDC discovered that rates of chlamydia and syphilis are on the rise however gonorrhoea is at its lowest rate of infection in 70 years. It was reported that large numbers of ethnic minority groups show a much higher rate of STIs than white groups and in addition, young black people were the most effected.

Chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhoea make up only 10% of STI cases in the US yet they are the only ones that must be reported to the CDC. All three of these sexually transmitted infections can cause serious problems if left untreated and include infertility in women. Some women only realise they have chlamydia when they have been trying for a baby and find that they cannot conceive. The majority of STI cases in the US comprise of herpes and HPV.

The decline in gonorrhoea cases is happily reported considering the recent worries over its ever increasing resistance to antibiotics. The number of cases has decreased by 10.5% since 2008, to 111 infections out of 100,000 people. To once again highlight the discrepancy between races, gonorrhoea cases totalled 71% of sexually transmitted diseases contracted by the black population.

The fact that chlamydia cases have increased since 2006 by 20% is really due to the large scale promotion of the chlamydia test and free testing outside the confines of the GPs office in a number of localities around the US. It is estimated by the CDC that there are 2.8million cases of chlamydia every year. Once again chlamydia is effecting the black population much more significantly.

Since 2001, syphilis has been increasing steadily over the years despite a decline in the 90s. There had been a 5% rise in cases since 2009 and that year the rates recorded among the black population were x9 the numbers contracting chlamydia among the white population.

There are racial disparities across many medical conditions and in some cases, the reasons are scientifically justified. In the case of STIs and sexual health, it is difficult to understand but some of the reasons thought to be valid include racism. Racism could account for a difficulty in accessing certain health services and STI clinics, the state of environment and the behaviour of individuals. The CDC suggests that historical policies, poverty and gender ratio could be considered root causes.

They acknowledge that much more research and funding are needed in the area of racial disparity regarding the sexual health.