Louisiana Remains A Dangerous Place To Have Sex

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Louisiana continues to rank in the top 15 states in reported cases of three nationally-notifiable sexually transmitted diseases -- syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia.

These rankings come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) 2006 Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report. DHH's Office of Public Health has also released its Sexually Transmitted Disease Annual Report 2006. The state report gives more detailed information about trends and clusters of these diseases, which helps identify where treatment and prevention efforts are most needed.

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The CDC report ranks Louisiana as having the highest rate of primary and secondary syphilis in the country. Primary and secondary stages refer to the progression of the disease. East Baton Rouge and Orleans parishes ranked number 25 and 40 respectively for reported cases in counties and independent cities. According to the Louisiana report, there were 347 cases of primary and secondary syphilis reported in Louisiana in 2006. This is a 123 percent increase from the 2002 data.

The CDC report ranks Louisiana third in the country for gonorrhea rates, with East Baton Rouge as number 50 and Caddo parish as number 56 among counties and independent cities by the number of reported cases. The state reported 11,340 cases of gonorrhea in 2006. Compared to the 2005 state rate, there was a 17.3 percent rise in 2006.

The CDC ranks Louisiana at number 13 for prevalence of chlamydia. According to the Louisiana report, the nine health regions reported 18,787 chlamydia infections in 2006. This is an increase of 7.6 percent compared with the 2005 rate. Every parish reported cases of chlamydia in 2006.

"These reports show that sexually transmitted diseases are a serious and continuing health threat," said Dr. Erin Brewer, assistant state health officer and medical director for the Office of Public Health. "As a state, we will continue to develop innovative screening and prevention strategies so that we can decrease the number of Louisianans who contract and spread these diseases."

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