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California Sexually-Transmitted Disease Rates Are Rising, For A Few Specific Reasons


California’s sexually transmitted disease rates remain high because of two concerning trends, as Capital Public Radio’s health care reporter Sammy Caiola explains.

The state health department says gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis rates are up from last year. It’s been happening for a few years, and it's not getting better.

Sacramento County health services director Peter Beilenson says the syphilis is related to drug use

“It’s basically twofold. One is the trading of drugs for sex, which is obviously a dangerous habit to undertake. And the other is when people are on methamphetamine they’re more likely to undertake unsafe sex practices.”

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are mostly rising among teens.

David Bouttavong coordinates health education at a Fresno nonprofit.

“I wish there were more health centers that were located closer to them and their schools, and in places that they go to. I wish it was more youth-friendly and youth-centered”

The state health department says many county-run STD clinics closed down during the recession, and fewer people are getting treated.

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