STDs in California on the Rise

Kathleen Miles, Huffington Post, August 15, 2012

Generally, you expect to see preventable diseases decline in advanced societies. Not so with some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in California.

Syphilis cases in the Golden State jumped by 18 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to new data released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). There was also a 5 percent increase in chlamydia cases and a 1.5 percent increase in gonorrhea cases.

Across the board, the STD rates among African Americans continue to be strikingly high, especially in comparison to the other racial groups.

In regards to why African American women contract STDs at far higher rates than women of other races, Robert Fullilove, a clinical sociomedical professor at Columbia University Health and chairman of the HIV/AIDS committee at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on “Fresh Air” that it is partly because fewer African American men are available.

Because of incarceration, homicide and AIDS, Fullilove said, “A large number of marriageable men were taken out of the community. When you have this kind of population imbalance, many of the rules that govern mating behavior in the community are simply going to go out the window.”

“The competition for a man becomes so extreme  . . .  all of the prevention measures [like condom usage] that we’ve been trying to create over the last 30 years go out the window.”

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{snip} Here is the racial breakdown:

Chlamydia rates (per 100,000 population):

African American—1,030.3

Latino—332.6

Native American—216.4

White—141.9

Asian/Pacific Islander—118

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Gonorrhea rates (per 100,000 population):

African American—303.8

Latino—40.7

Native American—37.7

White—33.3

Asian/Pacific Islander—17.2

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Syphilis rates (per 100,000 population):

African American—16.6

White—6.2

Latino—5.4

Native American—4.9

Asian/Pacific Islander—2.3

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