San Joaquin County Reports Increase in Sexually Transmitted Diseases in 2002
Promiscuous behavior among teenagers and young adults has led to increases in several communicable diseases in San Joaquin County, according to a county public health report released last week, the Stockton Record reports. The reported incidence of sexually transmitted diseases in the county is higher than ever before and is still increasing, in line with state and nationwide increases in the number of reported STD cases, Karen Furst, San Joaquin County's public health officer, said. Some findings from the report are presented below.
- The incidence of chlamydia -- the county's most common communicable disease -- increased 12% to 2,361 reported cases in 2002, from 2,100 in 2001. San Joaquin County residents ages 15 to 24 accounted for 72% of chlamydia cases in 2002, with about 1,600 of those cases reported in Stockton.
- Reported cases of gonorrhea increased 24% to 650 in 2002 from 524 in 2001. San Joaquin County residents ages 15 to 24 accounted for 52% of gonorrhea cases in 2002, with 500 of those cases reported in Stockton.
- Reported AIDS cases increased to 85 in 2002 from 29 in 2001. Because HIV has just been categorized as a disease that doctors and laboratories must report to health officials, Furst said that the county will need time to compile significant HIV demographic information needed for prevention efforts.
- The incidence of Hepatitis C, the county's second most common communicable disease, fell 7% to 1,225 reported cases in 2002 from 1,330 in 2001. However, Furst said that the decrease is consistent with an annual increase-decrease pattern in reported cases over the past six years.
- Among viral diseases, the incidence of Hepatitis A fell to 29 cases in 2002 from 67 cases in 2001; the incidence of Hepatitis B increased to 49 cases in 2002 from 37 cases in 2001; viral meningitis cases rose to 23 in 2002 from 11 in 2001; and tuberculosis cases increased to 52 in 2002 from 51 in 2001 (Firpo, Stockton Record, 7/29).