Tuolumne County Health Officer Concerned About Youth Sexual Health Trends
Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Health Department is making local residents aware of the latest statistics related to youth sexually transmitted diseases.
Public Health Officer Dr. Bob Bernstein says, “The data indicate some relatively good news for Gonorrhea, and some relatively bad news for Chlamydia, but potentially serious health effects for both, if not prevented in the first place, or if not identified early through counseling, testing and treating.”
Dr. Bernstein reports that the latest figures are from 2015, and show that Tuolumne County had 23 cases of Chlamydia between the ages of 10-19 and four cases of Gonorrhea. Meanwhile, Calaveras County had 14 cases of Chlamydia for the same age group and no reported Gonorrhea cases.
Both Tuolumne and Calaveras are far below the state average. When parsing the numbers using a rate per 100,000, the state number is 1,359 for Chlamydia, between the ages of 15-19, Tuolumne County’s figure is 672 and Calaveras is 517. For Gonorrhea, the state average is 231 and Tuolumne County is 134. (See Image Box)
Another concern of Dr. Bernstein, when looking at national trends, “Condom use among sexually active students decreased from 62-percent in 2007 to 54-percent in 2017, according to CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Study, presenting a serious health risk for sexually transmitted infections including HIV.”
He notes that partnerships between CDC, state and local officials, along with faith-based organizations, are essential to help educate parents and teenagers about sexually transmitted disease risks.
He adds that the state’s “Healthy Youth of California Act” (AB 329) mandates that students receive comprehensive health and HIV prevention education at least once in middle school and once in high school.