|Issue of the Day Posts Tagged ‘Illness and Diseases’|
Progress Halting on Sexual Health and Reproduction of Teens and Young Adults
Published Thursday, July 30th, 2009 by Lacey Loftin
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the period of improvement in sexual and reproductive health of U.S. teens and young adults has flattened and may be worsening. The data is reported in the “Sexual and Reproductive Health of Persons Aged 10-24 Years – United States, 2002-2007” and comes from various sources in order to get a clear picture of the trends. Some of the findings include the majority of the new diagnoses of HIV infection among adolescents and young adults occurred among those aged 20-24 years and among males. Furthermore, about 1 million adolescents and young adults aged 10-24 years were reported to have chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis in 2006.
This report also details that the progress seen in later years has halted, such as teen birth rates increasing in 2006 and 2007 following large declines from 1991-2005. Also, syphilis cases among teens and young adults aged 15-19 and 20-24 years have increased in both males and females in recent years. Rates of AIDS cases among males aged 15-24 years increased during 1997-2006 (AIDS data reflects people with HIV who have already progressed to AIDS.) Additionally, rates of new HIV and AIDS diagnoses among young adults were highest among non-Hispanic black youth across all age groups.
One of the major problems of mapping and prevention efforts facing the Centers for Disease Control’s effort to battle the spread of HIV/Aids happens to be accurate tracking. Since the beginning of the epidemic, the CDC’s efforts to monitor trends in new HIV infections has been hampered by HIV diagnosis occurring years after infection. New technology developed by the CDC can now distinguish recent from long-standing infections. Called Serologic testing algorithm for recent HIV Seroconversion (STARHS), the technology is used to develop the nation’s first surveillance system that is based on more concise estimates of the annual number of new HIV incidence than before. The first estimates from this system, issued in August 2008, revealed that the rate of HIV infections in 2006 were roughly 40% higher than former estimates reported. Also, as of April 2008, reporting for new infections has been nationalized as all 50 states, D.C. and territories all comply with the confidential Name-Based Reporting system.
Better diagnostics and reporting systems will help health care officials focus plans and evaluate prevention care and treatment programs on persons most at risk. According to the CDC, even with the new diagnostics, the rate of cases of HIV per year has remained steady since the late 1990’s. Analysis of the data points to a male to female ratio of 4-1 for new cases, plus new cases are rising for nearly every age group. Of those new cases, those infected are more likely to be of a minority or gay or bisexual.