I wanted to point out some of the numbers from a couple of presentations from last week’s 2010 National STD Prevention Conference.
Both presentations were from researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Dr. David Purcell, from the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention discussed an analysis that showed that men who have sex with other men (MSM) have a dramatically increased risk of contracting HIV and syphilis as compared to other men and women.
Looking at an estimate of American MSM (4 percent), they determined that the rate of new HIV cases in MSM is 44 times that of other men and more than 40 times that of women.
In the same vein, the rate of syphilis among MSM was more than 46 times that of other men and greater than 71 times that of women.
Dr. Purcell also says that the CDC is developing other breakdowns of the data of MSMs by race and age.
There was also an abstract presented by Dr. La’shan Taylor from the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention which showed that the rate of herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV)-2 have remained stable for the past decade.
Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), it was determined that 1 in 6 people (16.2% seroprevalence) 14 to 49 years old is infected with HSV-2.
Overall women were at an overall rate of 20.9% versus men at 11.5%. Researchers say that women are more susceptible to HSV-2 due to certain biological differences like greater mucosal surface area.
Rates were also higher among non-Hispanic blacks (39.2%) than among non-Hispanic whites (12.3%). Researchers also said that more than 80% of infected people are unaware of their infection.
Certainly these STD’s and others are still a problem in the United States and more prevention education and other measures are needed to get a grip on this problem.