HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rising Rates of STDs

The LA Times and other papers (including my local paper which noted that Ohio's beat the national average in several STD categories).  According to the LA Times,

The number of newly diagnosed cases of the three most common sexually transmitted diseases rose for the second year in a row in the U.S., driven in part by an increase in risky sexual behavior, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday.

"Increases in all three of these STDs. . . underscore the need for vigilance," said Dr. John M. Douglas Jr., director of the CDC's division of STD prevention, which produced the report.

New cases of chlamydia, the most commonly reported infectious disease in 2006, were diagnosed at nearly three times the rate of gonorrhea, the second most commonly reported infectious disease, Douglas said.

"We believe since it's underreported, it probably represents a much bigger iceberg," he said.

Douglas said he was also worried about syphilis because "it was really primed for being eliminated, and we've seen reversals in what ought to be a preventable problem."

Officials are still analyzing why the STD rates are going up, but they believe the rise is related to insufficient public health funds, increased testing and a resurgence of risky sexual behavior in some groups.

Gosh, I am shocked.  I thought all that money spent on abstinence-only education was supposed to take care of this type of behavior.

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