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STDs affect people of all races, ages, and sexual orientations, though some individuals experience greater challenges in protecting their health. STDs take an especially heavy toll on African Americans, particularly young African American women and men.
Syphilis: Concerning Increase among Young Black Men
Syphilis has been on the rise since 2001. New reports show that more than half of all reported primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis cases (the early and most infectious stages of the disease) are among blacks (7,278 cases). In 2009, the P&S rate for black women was more than 20 times higher than the rate for white women, and the congenital syphilis rate for black infants was approximately 13 times higher than the rate for white infants. Moreover, P&S syphilis cases among black men 15 to 24 years of age continue
to increase significantly; over the last five years, syphilis cases increased more than 150% among young black men.
It is estimated that 2.8 million new chlamydia cases occur in the United States each year, but more than half remain undiagnosed and unreported.5 Still, chlamydia remains the most commonly
reported infectious disease in the United States. It affects blacks,* who account for nearly half of the more than 1.2 million reported chlamydia cases (48 percent or 593,428 cases), more than other racial/ethnic groups of the United States. Women bear a heavier chlamydia burden than men, which is especially concerning, given that untreated chlamydia can lead to infertility in women.
Get the facts — Arm yourself with basic information: How are STDs spread? How can you protect yourself ? Visit www.cdc.gov/stds to learn more. Take control — You have the facts; now protect yourself and your sexual partners.
Effective strategies for reducing STD risk include:
-Abstinence: The most reliable way to avoid infection is to not have sex (i.e., anal, vaginal or oral).
-Vaccination: Vaccines are safe, effective, and recommended ways to prevent hepatitis B and HPV. HPV vaccines for males and females can protect against some of the most
common types of HPV. It is best to get all three doses (shots) before becoming sexually active. You should also get vaccinated for hepatitis B if you were not vaccinated when
you were younger.
-Mutual monogamy: Mutual monogamy means that you agree to be sexually active with only one person, who has agreed to be sexually active only with you.
Content for this article provided via CDC website resource with this reference material:
Laumann EO., et al. Racial/ethinic group differences in the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States: a network explanation.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 1999 May;26(5):250-61.
2 Institute of Medicine. The Hidden Epidemic: Confronting Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1997.
3 Hogben M, Leichliter JS. Social determinants and sexually transmitted disease disparities. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 2008 Dec;35(12 Suppl):S13-8.
4 Wiehe SE., et al. Chlamydia screening among young women: individual- and provider-level differences in testing. Pediatrics. 2011 Feb;127(2):e336-44.
5 Screening data are from the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS), which assesses the proportion of sexually active females
between the ages of 15 and 25 screened for chlamydia. Available at www.ncqa.org