Young Californians Have High Rate of Sexually Transmitted Infections
An estimated 1.1 million California residents ages 15 to 24 had a sexually transmitted infection in 2005, accounting for more than $1.1 billion in direct medical costs, according to a study released Wednesday by the Oakland-based Public Health Institute, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/10).
The study marks the first time the method for calculating sexually transmitted infections has been applied at the state and county level (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/10).
Researchers focused on eight major infections:
- Genital herpes;
- Human papillomavirus;
- Hepatitis B;
- HIV; and
- Trichomoniasis (Steffens, Contra Costa Times, 10/10).
Researchers used a computer model developed by CDC to calculate the estimate (Maugh II, Los Angeles Times, 10/10).
The findings are nearly 10 times higher than previous data on 15- to 24-year-olds in California (Anderson, Los Angeles Daily News, 10/9).
The incidences of many of the infections previously were unknown because many are not required to be reported to county or state officials (Reese, Sacramento Bee, 10/10).
Other infections are not reported because of incomplete testing, underreporting and treating infections without a confirmatory test (Los Angeles Times, 10/10).
Petra Jerman, a researcher at the institute, said the number of cases and their associated costs "illustrate that the [sexually transmitted infection] epidemic among California youths remains largely hidden" (Los Angeles Daily News, 10/9). 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.