More Than 4% of Young Americans Infected With Chlamydia...

Discussion in 'Black Health and Wellness' started by Aqil, May 13, 2004.

  1. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    TUESDAY, May 11 (HealthDayNews) - More than one in 25 young women and men in the United States are infected with the bacterium that causes the sexually-transmitted disease chlamydia. Rates of infection are alarmingly high among young Black women (almost 14%) and young Black men (more than 11%), a new study found.

    The research also found a much lower overall prevalence of gonorrhea - 0.43%. Among Black men and women, however, the rate is 2.13%. The study appears in the May 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    Chlamydia usually has no symptoms in its early stages. But if left untreated, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility in women, and may even be linked to cervical cancer. In men, it can lead to pain or swelling in the scrotal area, and possibly sterility. Being infected with chlamydia may also increase the ability to transmit and to get HIV, federal health officials report.

    "Chlamydia is just such a low-grade infection that causes long-term problems and it's so easy to treat," said Dr. Ralph Dauterive, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans. "You take some doxycycline [an antibiotic] for 10 days. It's pretty easy to do." The problem, Dauterive added, is that it's "a quiet little infection. Chlamydia is out there and no one seems to know anything about it."

    Previous research on the prevalence of chlamydia had shown similarly high rates. But because those earlier studies were based on people seeking help in a clinic, experts couldn't be sure they were representative of the population at large, explained study author Dr. William C. Miller. "Almost all of our prior information had been in clinics. They were coming in and getting tested and treated. In this case, we were going out to them," added Miller, an assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of North Carolina Schools of Medicine and Public Health.

    The researchers did at-home interviews with 14,322 men and women aged 18 to 26 across the United States. Most of the participants - 12,548 - also gave urine samples that were then tested for evidence of chlamydial and gonococcal infections. Overall, the prevalence of chlamydial infection was 4.19%, and was more common among women (4.74%) than among men(3.67%). Prevalence was also more than twice as high in the South (5.39%) than in the Northeast (2.39%).

    More striking were variations by race and ethnicity. Young white adults had the lowest prevalence (1.94%) while young Black adults had almost six times that rate (12.54%). In young Hispanic adults, the prevalence was 5.89%. The highest prevalence was among Black women (13.95%), followed by Black men (11.12%). Asian-American men had the lowest prevalence (1.14%), followed by white men (1.38%) and white women (2.52%).

    The overall prevalence of gonorrhea was 0.43%. Among Black men and women, the prevalence was 2.13%. Among white adults, it was 0.10%. About 0.03% of those interviewed were infected with both chlamydia and gonorrhea. "The vast majority of these people had no idea they were infected," Dr. Miller said. "So consequently, they have no trigger to seek health care. Or, if they had symptoms previously, they were short-lived and mild. That implies that we need to do a better job of screening."

    At present, women tend to be screened for sexually-transmitted disease more than men, partly because it is part-and-parcel of infertility screening. Also, women show up for routine exams more often than men, Dr. Miller said. "One of the things we hope this study will help encourage is, it really takes two for these kinds of diseases and treating one part of the pathway won't help us reduce the prevalence."

    It's also important to take cautious note of the racial disparities, Dr. Miller added. "If we politicize it, then we'll not target therapy to people who really need it. And we really, really need to be screening and treating in order to reduce the disparity, and the only way to do that is to acknowledge it exists," he said.

    The rise and fall of chlamydia rates often mimic the rise and fall of different political climates, said Dr. Kenneth A. Levey, director of the Chronic Pelvic Pain Center at New York University Medical Center in New York City. "One of the reasons for the high prevalence of chlamydia and STDs (sexually-transmitted diseases) in general in this age group is lack of educational programs. And I think that political tides turn the availability of condoms in high school," he added. "Chlamydia is still high in this country, and it's a very, very preventable disease. There's no reason why anybody should have chlamydia. All it takes is a very simple use of condoms."

    For more information on chlamydia, visit the National Institutes of Health (www.niaid.nih.gov ) or the American Social Health Association (www.ashastd.org ).

    SOURCES: William C. Miller, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, medicine and epidemiology, University of North Carolina Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Chapel Hill; Ralph Dauterive, M.D., chief, obstetrics and gynecology, Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans; Kenneth A. Levey, M.D., director, Chronic Pelvic Pain Center, New York University Medical Center, and assistant professor, obstetrics and gynecology, New York University School of Medicine, New York City; May 12, 2004, Journal of the American Medical Association.
     
  2. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It's a wonder that every African American isn't suffering from paranoid schizophrenia after reading all of these data. :(

    Brother Aqil, once again, thank you for bringing this information to our attention because it's important for us to know. Many of us never even heard of chlamydia before now so this will be new information. But you know, as much as I think it's important to know about these things, I'm beginning to get more concerned about these studies than I am about the sexual behavior of Black people.

    If we were to believe these studies and their subsequent reports, one would have good reason to think that Black people have strange and unusual sexual habits. But I submit, Black people are no different than people of other races except in the way that we are contracting these bacteria and viruses. This may be more than a social issue but rather a medical and political one.

    Of all the people in the world, why is it that only Black people are struggling to survive? Why are we the ones that are susceptible to these deadly and crippling viruses and bacteria? Why are they always sexual in nature? Where did these viruses and bacteria come from? What is their place of origin? Are they natural phenomenons or were they created in laboratories? When was chlamydia first discovered, where, and what was the race of the person that was first diagnosed with it? Are we guinea pigs again (remember the Tuskegee experiments?)

    Anybody feel like doing some further research?

    Peace,
    Queenie :spinstar:
     
  3. MrBlak

    MrBlak Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    NNQueen, it is true there are some diseases that blacks are more likely to catch than whites...including HIV I have heard, the thing is, black peoples behaviour is still the number one reason for the high numbers.

    This peice of news was discussed on another site I am part of a few days ago. The woman who posted it was telling me of the kind of foolish beliefs many blacks have....example: Black women on the depo-provera birth control shot who think it also protects them from STDs. Sounds stupid right??? Well that kind of stupidity is widespread. More education is needed becuase black people are behaving irresponsibly, not using condoms and assigning powers to other contraceptives they dont have....also there is the "it could never happen to me" factor as well. Whites are irresponsible too, but since we catch many diseases easier that is a more serious problem for us. The part about having chlamidia making it easier to get AIDS aint no joke. Black people who want to pretend they dont have it leave themself open to getting more diseases. This foolishness has to stop and we gotta get serious and point the finger at ourselves and straighten this out.
     
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