Today's Date: January 27, 2022
University of Phoenix Sponsors Social Roots Mental Health Summit   •   Dynamic Funds expands fixed income line up to provide clients with greater choice   •   Duke Energy's solar portfolio grows in North Carolina with the addition of two new plants   • and Top Tech Tidbits Announce Their Partnership to Provide Current Assistive Technology News and Trends to Their   •   Truist Announces Goal of Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050   •   The Oldest Black-owned Business in the United States Expands to the Carolinas with New Offices in Charlotte and Raleigh   •   The Estée Lauder Companies to Webcast Discussion of Fiscal 2022 Second Quarter Results on February 3, 2022   •   AMERICA'S LARGEST PLASTICS RECYCLER WILL USE HONEYWELL'S ADVANCED PLASTICS RECYCLING TECHNOLOGY   •   My African World Foundation Aims to Empower Africans through Sport and Education   •   Former Pimp Pulls Back the Veil on the Psychological Warfare Traffickers Wage Against Our Children   •   Expedia Group Reveals Industry Outlook and Predictions for 2022   •   Cook Center for Human Connection Partners with American Federation of Teachers’ Share My Lesson Platform to Offer Student   •   ZT Corporate Appoints First Female Chief of Staff   •   carafem Adds Rhode Island to Growing Number of U.S. States That Can Access Its Affordable, Convenient Abortion Pill by Mail Serv   •   MEDIA ALERT – With the 2022 tax filing season starting next week, taxpayers need to be aware of new complexities   •   Enterprise Connect 2022 Expands Conference Program, Adding Keynotes from Google Cloud, Microsoft and RingCentral   •   It Gets Better Project Enlists Media Cause to Build Awareness for "50 States. 50 Grants. 5,000 Voices." Campaign   •   Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Announces Pay With Change Initiative, Mandating New Standards For Advertising In 2022 Issue: Progres   •   People of Color Small Businesses More Vulnerable to COVID-19 Impacts Due to Historic, Ongoing Systemic Inequities   •   AVYA Skincare Selected as A Brand to Watch in 2022
Bookmark and Share

CDC Report Finds Minorities Face "Severe" Disparities Regarding Sexually Transmitted Diseases




Disproportionate Impact on Racial Minorities Persists



Adolescent girls ages 15–19 years had the largest reported number of chlamydia and gonorrhea cases (409,531) when compared to any other age group, followed closely by women ages 20-24, according to an annual report on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The report finds that more than 1.5 million cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea were reported in 2008. 


The report – Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2008, which tracks reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in the United States – also showed that African-Americans continue to be more disproportionately affected by STDs than any other racial or ethnic group. 


While adolescent males have a similar prevalence of STDs, biological differences place females at greater risk for STDs than males.  Additionally, the health consequences are more severe among females than males for chlamydia and gonorrhea – the two most commonly reported infectious diseases in the United States.  These diseases may have no symptoms and often go undetected.  CDC estimates that half of new gonorrhea cases and more than half of new chlamydia cases remain undiagnosed and unreported.  Left untreated, it is estimated that 10-20 percent of chlamydia or gonorrhea infections in women can result in pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to long-term complications, such as chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy (a potentially life-threatening form of pregnancy where implantation of the fertilized egg occurs outside the uterus) and infertility.  Untreated STDs are estimated to cause at least 24,000 women to become infertile each year in the United States


“When you take into account the severe health consequences of STDs and the millions of Americans infected every year, it is clear that much more work needs to be done to prevent unintended long-term health issues,” said Kevin Fenton, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “We know adolescent girls and minorities are most impacted by STDs.  So it is up to us as a nation, to reach out to them and ensure we are providing the necessary prevention, testing and treatment services.  Taking these critical steps now could help reduce the number of couples who may not be able have children in the future because of a previously undiagnosed, yet treatable, STD.” 


In the United States overall, about 1.2 million cases of chlamydia were reported in 2008; almost 337,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported in the same year.


Disproportionate Impact on Racial Minorities – Especially Among Young African-American Women


Racial minorities continue to face severe disparities in all reportable STDs, but African-Americans are the group most impacted.  Gonorrhea rates among African-Americans are higher than any other racial or ethnic group and 20 times higher than that of whites.  Blacks represent 12 percent of the U.S. population, but accounted for about 71 percent of reported gonorrhea cases and almost half of all chlamydia and syphilis cases (48 percent and 49 percent, respectively) in 2008.  


Among women, black women 15 to 19 years of age had the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea (10,513 per 100,000 and 2,934 per 100,000, respectively), followed by black women ages 20 to 24 (9,373 per 100,000 and 2,770 per 100,000, respectively). 


“We cannot ignore the glaring racial disparities in rates of STDs, particularly when we consider the hard truth that gonorrhea rates among African-Americans are 20 times those of whites,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., M.D., director of CDC’s Division of STD Prevention. “Research has shown that socioeconomic barriers to quality health care and higher overall prevalence of STDs within minority communities contribute to this pervasive threat.  It is imperative that we improve access to effective STD prevention and treatment services in local communities for those who need them most.” 


Increasing Threat of Syphilis


Syphilis, once on the verge of elimination, began re-emerging as a threat in 2001.  In 2008, 13,500 cases of primary and secondary syphilis cases were reported, an almost 18 percent increase from 2007.  The majority of these syphilis cases (63 percent) continues to be among men who have sex with men (MSM).  Increased syphilis transmission among MSM is believed to be the primary driver of syphilis rate increases nationally.  For MSM, syphilis infection is of particular concern because it can facilitate HIV transmission and lead to irreversible complications such as strokes, especially in those who are HIV-infected.   


While occurring at substantially lower levels among women than men, syphilis rates have been increasing among women since 2004.  In 2008, the syphilis rate among women increased 36 percent from the previous year (1.1 cases per 100,000 women in 2007 vs. 1.5 in 2008).  By comparison, rates among men increased 15 percent from the previous year (6.6 cases per 100,000 men in 2007 vs. 7.6 in 2008).  Untreated syphilis can be transmitted from pregnant women to infants and can result in stillbirths, infant deaths, or severe complications in children who survive. 


Intensified Efforts Needed to Reduce Toll of STDs


To reduce the toll of STDs and protect the health of millions of Americans, expanded education and prevention efforts, including increased screening, are urgently needed.  Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis cases represent only a fraction of the true STD burden in the United States.  CDC estimates that a total of almost 19 million new sexually transmitted infections occur each year, almost half of which are among 15- to 24-year-olds.  In addition, CDC estimates that STDs cost the U.S. health care system as much as $15.9 billion annually.


Since treatment of STDs is essential to prevent long-term health consequences, early testing and diagnosis are crucial.  STD screening remains one of the most effective yet underutilized tools to protect heath and prevent the further spread of these diseases.  Recent data show that less than half of sexually active women under 26 are screened for chlamydia – the most commonly reported infectious disease.  CDC recommends annual chlamydia screening for sexually active women younger than 26 years of age, and supports U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations to screen high-risk, sexually active women for gonorrhea.  CDC also recommends that all sexually active MSM be tested for syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV at least annually. 


The full report is available at


#  #  #






Back to top
| Back to home page

White House Live Stream
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Sounds Make the News ®
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News