SACRAMENTO: STDs Increase Among County Teens
Sacramento County saw dramatic increases in the number of cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea among teenagers, raising concerns among health officials that HIV may also be spreading rapidly among that population, the Sacramento Bee reports. Between 1997 and 1998, the county's incidence rate of chlamydia was 30% higher than the state average, while the rate of new gonorrhea cases rose 10%, more than double the state average. The concern that HIV might also be spreading rapidly through the adolescent population stems from the fact that the same precautions that protect against HIV (condoms and abstinence) are also effective protection against other STDs, like chlamydia and gonorrhea. The increased rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea show that people "are sexually active and are clearly not using condoms," said Dr. Glennah Trochet, a county health official. She went on to say that the county does not have sufficient resources to promote their prevention message. Jan Fleming, the county's HIV/AIDS program coordinator, said that she has found "that while young people are aware of sexually transmitted diseases, they do not act to protect themselves against them." Trochet noted, however, that health officials must track the incidence of the STDs for more than one year before concluding that the increases are a trend. But the Sacramento Bee reports that Sacramento County's findings seem to mirror those of the state and the nation; the state Department of Health Services showed a slight increase in STD cases since 1997 (Griffith, 12/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.