STDs and HIVHIV Counselor Perspectives
V3, N1, Feb 1993
STD Help Lines
The National STD Hotline, (800) 277-8922, provides basic information; referral to testing and treatment; and emotional support for people with STDs. Run by the Centers for Disease Control, the hotline operates Monday to Friday from 5 A.M. to 8 P.M. Pacific Time.
In California, the Department of Health Services, Sexually Transmitted Disease Control Branch, (916) 322-2087, offers referrals to local service providers during weekday business hours.
Women, People of Color and Young People
While STDs are more common in men than in women, the health consequences of STDs are more severe for women, especially young, sexually active and childbearing women and their offspring. 
Women often remain without symptoms of an STD for longer periods than men. During this asymptomatic period, disease can still progress, causing permanent damage, and STDs can be transmitted to partners. When undetected and untreated, STDs in women can result in ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous abortion, perinatal infection, sterility and even death. STDs can be transmitted during pregnancy from a woman to her fetus, or at birth from mother to child.
People of color constitute a disporportionate number of STD cases. During the mid-1980s, rates of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chancroid among African Americans and Latinos increased dramatically.
Researchers have speculated that increased incidence of certain STDs has been caused by increased rates of drug use. The exchange of sex for drugs or money is a primary link between drug use, HIV and other STDs.  An outbreak of syphilis, gonorrhea and chancroid in the mid-1980s was directly influenced by the epidemic of crack cocaine.  High rates of syphilis among sexually active women are associated with cocaine use. 
Two-thirds of all STDs occur in people under age 25, with high infection rates among teenagers. Sixty percent of unmarried young men 15 to 19 years old, and 50% of unmarried young women in that age group are sexually active. Young people are also at significant risk for HIV infection because of high rates of unprotected sex and substance abuse.
STD CasesReportable Diseases in California, 1991
Chlamydia 70,176 Gonorrhea 43,719 AIDS 8,182 Syphilis 12,722 Chancroid 47 Pelvic Inflammatory Disease 2,614 Non-gonococcal urethritis 7,820
HIV Counselor Perspectives, V3N1, 2/93
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