Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Be Thankful for…

...antibiotics and STD screening.

This week CDC released its annual sexually transmitted diseases surveillance report, which showed that chlamydia and syphilis rates in the U.S. continued to rise in 2009. However, gonorrhea reached its lowest level in almost 70 years. All three STDs can be easily treated with antibiotics but can have serious consequences, including infertility and organ damage, if left untreated.

According to the report, chlamydia rates increased by 3% last year, with 409 cases per 100,000 people—representing an all-time high for reported chlamydia infections. The rate increased by almost 20% since 2006. On a positive note, CDC believes that the increase is likely attributed to expanded screening, and not an increase in the disease.

Unfortunately, large disparities still exist among racial and ethnic minority groups, with young African Americans baring a large burden of the disease.

STD screening can help detect disease early and, combined with treatment, is an effective way to protect a person’s health and reduce transmission to partners. One of the continuing problems is that less than half of the people who should be screened for STDs, do so. To help improve screening, as well as prevention and treatment of chlamydia, Partnership for Prevention convenes and leads the National Chlamydia Coalition, whose mission is to reduce the rates of Chlamydia and its harmful effects among sexually active adolescent and young adults.


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