Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

Sexually transmitted disease: How to fight frighteningly high rates of infection

chlamydiagonorrheasexually transmitted diseaseSTD


Chlamydia rates among young African American women in L.A. County have reached alarming levels:  8.7% of all black teenagers ages 15 to 19 have the sexually transmitted disease. Gonorrhea rates are lower but still troublingly high among African American girls and women. Rates among Latino girls and women also are above average.

And the disease rates are especially bad in the 2nd Supervisorial District, which encompasses many low-income areas of the county -- generally at least twice as high.

Chlamydia is easily curable with antibiotics, but if it is allowed to spread undetected, it can cause a host of potentially dangerous health problems, especially to the fetus of a pregnant woman. Yet how to catch it early? Some 70% of infected women have no symptoms.

The county's well-regarded "I Know" campaign is one smart approach. It provides free home testing kits to women, who can mail in their tests and receive the results by Internet. But not everyone has Internet access. So on Monday, the county and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas are kicking it up a notch by placing dedicated kiosks throughout his district that will allow women to order the kits online and get the results as well.

What's especially heartening about this is that, according to Ridley-Thomas' office, pastors and other religious leaders in the district aren't getting moralistic about the problem, realizing that the most important moral issue here is to provide low-income women and girls with information and medical care. They've gotten behind the effort, an important public relations tool in neighborhoods where a good part of community life revolves around the church.


ACLU's 'Don't Filter Me' campaign makes sense

What's different about scary warning labels for smokers?

Flash! Facebook causes teen drinking! (Until you read the fine print)

--Karin Klein

Graphic provided by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas' office.


Comments () | Archives (0)

The comments to this entry are closed.



In Case You Missed It...



Recent Posts
Reading Supreme Court tea leaves on 'Obamacare' |  March 27, 2012, 5:47 pm »
Candidates go PG-13 on the press |  March 27, 2012, 5:45 am »
Santorum's faulty premise on healthcare reform |  March 26, 2012, 5:20 pm »


About the Bloggers
The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

In Case You Missed It...