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9.1 Sexually Transmitted Disease Rates

This indicator notes the rate of sexually transmitted diseases (syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia).

This indicator is part of Good public health.

Indicator description:

This indicator notes the rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STD). This data is only available at the Albuquerque community level, not for the City of Albuquerque alone. Albuquerque is listed as the principal city of Bernalillo County and other cities are listed as principal cities of their respective counties. STDs are those diseases which are passed through intimate sexual contact, and may also be passed from a pregnant woman to her child. Syphilis is a potentially fatal STD, characterized by symptoms which appear and then go away on their own, but syphilis continues causing brain and organ damage, and eventually blindness, dementia and death. Gonorrhea is a very common disease, which causes painful infections, and can lead to serious and permanent health problems. Chlamydia is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted disease in the US. New Mexico's chlamydia rate is nearly double the national average, and Albuquerque accounted for 42% of the total number of cases in New Mexico in 2006. Chlamydia is a silent disease, in that symptoms are frequently absent or mild, until reproductive damage has already occurred.

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Why is this indicator relevant?

STDs remain a major threat to public health, despite efforts at prevention and public education. In addition to the physical and psychological consequences of STDs, which include chronic pain, infertility, dementia and death, these diseases also extract a tremendous economic toll. The direct economic cost of STDs in New Mexico is estimated to be $55 million per year.


Data Sources:
NM Department of Health, STD Program; Center for Disease Control & Prevention, STD Surveillance.

What can we tell from the data?

  • After a steady increase, STD rates in the Albuquerque community have remained fairly stable..
  • The STD cases per 100,000 population are higher in Albuquerque than any other peer community or the nation at large.

 

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