The summer time is a great time for water fights, swimming pools, barbeques and…STDs? Yep, that’s right. That summer love fling or those hot one night stands after the club can lead to any one of the big three—Chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis.
Unfortunately, like most health ailments that plague Americans, black people are far more likely to suffer from anyone of the big three than their white counterparts. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2007 over 1.1 million cases of Chlamydia were reported, and approximately 46 percent of all cases occurred among blacks. Overall, the rate of catching the clap among blacks in the U.S. was eight times that than whites. Wait, it gets worse.
Looking at gonorrhea and syphilis, the statistics get even higher. According to the CDC, in 2007 (the latest year the statistics are available), 70 percent of the total cases of the disease reported were among blacks. And among black female teens age 15-19, the rate was 14.7 times greater than the rate of white women of similar age. Black male teens of the same age range contracted the disease at a rate 38.7 higher than their white counterparts. Additionally, the number of syphilis cases increased 25 percent for blacks between 2006 and 2007.
The statistics are obviously unsettling. Even still, too many people take their health, and in some cases, lives for granted and participate in unsafe sexual behavior (and yes, that means oral sex too). Bottom line: you only get one body, do your best to protect it by engaging in safe sexual behavior. –jh