Illinois Counties Facing Increases In STDs Among Teenagers; Bill Aims To Reduce Rates
Illinois health officials contend that images seen in the media, social influences, and a lack of "frank" discussion on STDs in schools, among other issues, might be contributing to increases in STD rates across the state, the State Journal-Register reports. "According to recently released data, new cases of chlamydia in Illinois reached an all-time high statewide in 2008 59,169 while the number of gonorrhea cases outside Chicago has been rising in recent years and totaled 10,165 in 2008," the Journal-Register reports. In addition, about 35,000 state residents have HIV/AIDS, the article states. Charlie Rabins, chief of the STD program at the Illinois Department of Public Health, said a bill (SB 212) currently awaiting Gov. Pat Quinn's (D) approval might help reduce STD rates. The bill "would allow what is called 'expedited partner therapy,' in which medical professionals who treat patients for gonorrhea or chlamydia can give those patients single-dose antibiotics to pass on to sexual partners without first examining the partners," according to the Journal-Register (Olsen, 7/27).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.