STDs on the Rise

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2007
STDs on the Rise
4
Thu, 01-15-2009 - 8:39am
ATLANTA—Sexually spread diseases -- for years on the decline -- are on the rise, with reported chlamydia cases setting a record, government health officials said Tuesday.

The increase in chlamydia, a sometimes symptomless infection that can lead to infertility in women, is likely because of better screening, experts said. In 2007, there were 1.1 million cases, the most ever reported, said officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Thousands of women become infertile each year because of untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea infections, said Dr. John M. Douglas Jr., director of the CDC's Division of STD Prevention.



Syphilis cases, which number only in the thousands, also rose modestly, while the number of gonorrhea cases remained roughly the same. Syphilis can kill, if left untreated, but chlamydia and gonorrhea are not life-threatening.



Chlamydia can infect men as well as women, but rates are nearly three times higher for women. That's at least partly due to 1993 federal recommendations that emphasize testing for sexually active women age 25 and under. That emphasized screening in recent years is no doubt driving the record numbers, said Dr. Jonathan Zenilman, a professor of infectious diseases at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.



"The issue with chlamydia is the more test, the more you'll find," Zenilman said.



The latest numbers translate to a rate of 370 cases per 100,000 people in 2007, up 7.5 percent from 2006.



The reported cases are just part of the picture. Health officials believe as many as 2.8 million Americans may have chlamydia.



Many men and women have no symptoms from it. Some women experience pain in their lower abdomen or notice a burning sensation or a pus-like discharge when they urinate. Some men may also feel a burning during urination or have a discharge.



Gonorrhea cases appear to have plateaued and are currently at about 356,000 cases. Syphilis was on the verge of being eliminated in the United States about 10 years ago, but lately has been inching up. More than 11,000 new cases of the most contagious form of the disease were reported in 2007.



Syphilis is relatively rare but has become a growing threat, particularly for gay and bisexual men, who accounted for about 65 percent of the 2007 cases.



Sexually spread diseases up, better testing cited





iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2006
Thu, 01-15-2009 - 12:03pm
It's good that more are getting tested but scary to see the numbers climbing anyway. I wish schools could do mandatory sexual education courses the way many do with driver's education courses - both activities could be dangerous to your health and have lasting consequences should the unthinkable arise, and it's important that people are made aware of those dangers and consequences.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2007
Thu, 01-15-2009 - 6:23pm

I didn't know there were still states that did the driver's ed classes. They stopped in both Maryland and Florida. When I was a teen, they were part of the curriculum, and I have to say, I was sad as a parent to see it gone.

Sex ed -- I don't think they can teach enough of that. It's so important, and so many want to just look the other way and hope for the best. Even if they won't allow sex ed to be taught, then at the very least, STDs should be a part of regular health classes.





iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2006
Fri, 01-16-2009 - 8:42am
Yeah, many states are phasing that out, too, which is sad - kids need to learn the proper rules for driving somewhere, and, just as with sex, many of their parents just want to stick their heads in the sand and pretend they're not going to do it. My health class did include a large section on sex and STDs and pregnancy, but I do recall that even then, a few kids were pulled out of class on those days with notes from their parents citing religious beliefs. I thought their parents did them a huge disservice.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2008
Thu, 02-26-2009 - 9:39pm
thats really scary!

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