Declines in Cincinnati’s Chlamydia, Gonorrhea Prevalence ‘Encouraging But Difficult To Explain,’ Public Health Officials Say
Gonorrhea and chlamydia prevalence rates in Cincinnati are decreasing, and for the first time in five years, the city will not have Ohio's highest rate of gonorrhea infection, the Cincinnati Inquirer reports. However, Cincinnati will maintain its position as having the highest rate of chlamydia in the state, according to the Inquirer. Dayton and Cleveland are expected to have the highest gonorrhea rates in 2004, according to the Ohio Department of Health. The decrease in the number of reported gonorrhea infections are "encouraging but difficult to explain," according to public health officials, the Inquirer reports. Either more people are using condoms or postponing their first sexual experiences, or fewer people in the city are being tested for the diseases, according to the Inquirer. "I'm pretty leery of projections because there are so many variables here," Dr. Judith Daniels, medical director at the Cincinnati Health Department, said. Sexually transmitted diseases are difficult to track because people often do not have symptoms and are typically diagnosed only when they seek treatment for symptoms or offered screenings, according to Bernard Young, AIDS coordinator for the city health department. "A lot of people who go to private doctors aren't necessarily screening patients or reporting what they find in a timely manner," Young said. Nationwide, the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea infections occur among sexually active teenagers, young adults and African Americans; in Ohio, 74% of chlamydia infections and 60% of gonorrhea infections occur among people ages 15-24, according to the Inquirer (Leingang, Cincinnati Inquirer, 8/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.