"The racial disparities in rates of STDs are among the worst health disparities in the nation for any condition," says Dr. John M. Douglass Jr., director of the CDC's Division of STD Prevention. "The widespread occurrence of these diseases should serve as a stark reminder that STDs remain a serious health threat in the United States, especially for women and racial and ethnic minorities."
The study also highlighted the health disparities associated with socioeconomic status, which limits many Black Americans' access to quality healthcare, forcing them to forgo much-needed treatment--a move that often leads to infertility.
"We must intensify effort to reach these communities with needed screening and treatment services," the study reveals. "Testing and the knowledge of infection is a critical first step toward reducing the continued consequences of these diseases."
"Left untreated, Chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause infertility, affecting a woman's chance to bear children later in life," Douglass says. "Such a severe consequence is entirely avoidable if as a nation we work together to increase the use of proven prevention tools and make them widely available to those who need them."