U.S. Leads Developed World in STDs

The U.S. has one of the highest rates of STDs of any developed country in the world, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and more and more teens are falling victim. Though treatable with antibiotics, chlamydia and gonorrhea rates have skyrocketed, and syphilis has made a comeback, after nearly being eliminated. In 2008, nearly 337,000 cases of gonorrhea, 1.2 millions cases of chlamydia (up from 1.1 million in 2007), and 13,500 cases of syphilis cases were reported, a whopping 17 percent increase from 2007. For all three diseases, incidences are highest among blacks and teens. Why are the numbers for these three diseases, which, untreated, can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and entopic pregnancy, rising? Several studies suggest that a lack of awareness among those infected as well as the emphasis on abstinence education in recent years may play a role in the statistics. "We haven't been promoting the full battery of messages," Douglas said. "We have been sending people out with one seatbelt in the whole car." The Obama administration is expected to shift away from the Bush administrations abstinence-only approach towards sexual education.