CDC: Gonorrhea Rate Drops to All-Time Low
CDC: Gonorrhea Rate Drops to All-Time LowAssociated Press (11.29.04): Daniel Yee
On Monday, CDC reported that the US gonorrhea rate has dropped to an all-time low. Between 2002 and 2003, gonorrhea cases fell nearly 5 percent, from 122 cases per 100,000 people to 116.2 per 100,000.
In 1975, CDC launched a national gonorrhea-control effort. From 1975 to 1997, gonorrhea rates fell by 74 percent. Rates climbed slightly in 1998 but have fallen since.
CDC remains concerned about the high rate of gonorrhea among blacks — about 20 times that of whites. This is most likely because many minority communities “don’t have access to the kinds of health care that they need for timely diagnosis and treatment,” said Dr. Ronald Valdiserri, deputy director of CDC’s National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention.
The report also noted that gonorrhea is increasingly becoming antibiotic resistant. The proportion of gonorrhea cases resistant to a common class of antibiotics grew from 2.2 percent in 2002 to 4.1 percent in 2003.
Last year, about 15 percent of gonorrhea cases among men who have sex with men (MSM) were antibiotic resistant. Since April, CDC has not recommended using the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics to treat gonorrhea among MSM.
The report also found that syphilis cases have risen for the third year in a row, chiefly due to outbreaks among MSM in major cities. While chlamydia climbed between 2002 and 2003, CDC said this was likely the result of improved testing and reporting rather than an actual increase.
For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/std/stats.
S. Alex Williams
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