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Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region Reacts to STD Study

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE INCREASE IN MEMPHIS AREA DEMONSTRATES NEED FOR AGE-APPROPRIATE EDUCATION, SCREENING AND TREATMENT

MEMPHIS, TN — Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region is deeply concerned over the findings of a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that indicates increases in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the Memphis area, particularly among women.

The report, Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2007, shows persistent racial disparities in disease rates, with women, particularly black women, bearing a disproportionate burden of the long-term health consequences of sexually transmitted diseases. STDs take an especially heavy toll on black women 15 to 19 years of age, who account for the highest rates of both chlamydia and gonorrhea of any group. If left untreated, both diseases can cause long-term health effects, including infertility, potentially affecting a woman’s chance to bear children later in life.

The chart below shows a steady increase in reported STD cases in the Memphis  metropolitan statistical area (MSA), which includes Fayette County, TN, Shelby County, TN, Tipton, County, TN, Crittenden County, AR, Desoto County, MS, Marshall County, MS, Tate County, MS, and Tunica County, MS.

Disease

Cases Reported in Memphis MSA

 

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Chlamydia

7,362

8,927

9,457

10,224

11,349

Gonorrhea

3,764

3,832

3,782

  4,665

  4,756

Syphilis-all stages

   547

   519

   585

    612

     761

*Compiled from CDC Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2007

“This report is evidence of the need for medically accurate, age-appropriate, comprehensive sex education,” said Barry Chase, CEO of Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region. “Abstinence-only programs have failed to teach young people how to prevent unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. And there is also a great need for affordable screening and treatment options.”

The Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region health center in Midtown Memphis provides clients with STD testing and treatment in addition to routine gynecological exams, pap tests, pregnancy testing, family planning counseling, low-cost birth control and abortion services. Women who come to the health center for birth control can also request STD testing. It gives them access to convenient testing and treatment in a confidential and non-judgmental atmosphere,” said Chase. “Screening and early treatment of STDs is more cost effective for the taxpayer, because many of our patients are below poverty level and are covered under Tennessee’s state Medicaid program, TennCare. Screening for and treating STDs early is much less expensive than treating the complications that can result when infections go undetected,” Chase said.

For more information about Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region, call Joan Carr, Director of Public Affairs, at (901) 725-3008, or visit us on the web at http://www.ppgmr.org/.

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Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region (PPGMR), founded in 1938, is an affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. PPGMR’s mission is to ensure broad public access to reproductive and related health care through clinic services, education, advocacy and community partnerships in serving 42 counties in West Tennessee, North Mississippi and East Arkansas.

Source

Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region

Contact

Joan Carr
Director of Community Affairs
(901) 725-3008

Published

January 14, 2009

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Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region Reacts to STD Study