Take Note of These Gonorrhea Hotspots In The United States

Collinsdictionary.com lent two informal meanings for hotspot as “any place regarded as an area of actual or potential trouble or violence” and “any place regarded as a center for a specified activity or interest.

Where STDs are concerned, a hotspot is a place where the prevalence of a sexually transmitted disease is high, or higher than what is obtainable in other places with similar geographical attributes, color dominance, and socioeconomic disposition.

To condense the aforementioned dictionary meanings, an STD hotspot is any place regarded as a center with prevailing rates of a specified sexually transmitted disease which predisposes that area to imminent or perceived troubles and dangers.

In the US, it is no news that there has been a resurgent rise in the incidence of diseases principally contracted through sexual activities – including gonorrhea. It is also no news that the young in the population are most affected by the menace of sexually transmitted diseases.

Observing maps with collated data on STDs within a given period of time will most definitely reveal a pattern in the spread of these diseases, linking areas that oftentimes single-handedly contributed a greater percentage of reported cases on certain STDs. The good news is that the research and linking have been done by experts in the health fields.

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 2007 to 2016, the Southern US had the highest rate of reported cases of gonorrhea, followed by the Midwest, the West, and the Northeast, respectively. Invariably, the southern states of the US are the hotspots for gonorrhea in the country. In 2016, counties in these states recorded cases of gonorrhea with rates starting at 139 per 100,000 of the population, an infamous feat achieved since 2007.

The southern states include:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Texas
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Oklahoma
  • Maryland
  • Missouri
  • Florida
  • Delaware

Cumulatively, their counties number 1,496.

The report indicated that the worst hit population were men. The rate of gonorrhea in 2015 and 2016 increased among males in the southern states. This is no good news for the young as those affected are in the 20 to 29 years age group. Females infected with gonorrhea were mostly in the 15 to 24 years age group.

Questions have been asked frequently on the prevalence of gonorrhea among the young ones in the US.

For one, poor attitude by the sexually active young persons toward getting screened for STDs is a leading cause for the much-suffered threat of gonorrhea. Its asymptomatic nature gives it the right cover to spread quickly without any detection, except through tests. Another reason for gonorrhea amongst the young in the population is their unconcerned behavior toward the use of condoms. Many men who have sex with men consider it an option for sex since there is no unwanted pregnancy to watch out for.

With the rising trend in gonorrhea cases, there is fear that the resistance of the causative organism, Neisseria gonorrheae, to antibiotics for the treatment of gonorrhea would become entrenched. This resistance could keep gonorrhea around to make its spread uninhibited. Men who have sex with men are most likely to fall victim to antibiotics resistance even though a definite reason for that is yet to be known.

Gonorrhea hotspots in the US do not indicate that those areas are the only places with gonorrhea cases, rather, the spread of gonorrhea is countrywide. Previous ecologic studies have shown blacks to be more likely to suffer from gonorrhea in these hotspots more than whites. Factors that could have led to that include widespread joblessness, use of illicit drugs and alcohol marketing, as well as social disorganization and imprisonment of more black men.

In effect, care needs to be taken at all times by every sexually active individual especially in this period of much traveling where new persons are met often. Use of condoms is not negotiable with partners whose sexual histories are unknown and this applies also to those who have had unprotected sex of recent. Getting tested from time to time makes early detection easy and treatment, effective.

As scientists work hard to develop new and unconventional ways to get gonorrhea cured as it evolves strategies to evade treatment, prevention with condoms and early detection have remained paramount in staying safe from the complications arising from untreated gonorrhea.

From penicillin to ciprofloxacin, Neisseria gonorrheae has successfully outgrown routine antibiotics. Self-medication is ruled out in the treatment of gonorrhea. Testing positive with a home test kit should demand that a health care provider be contacted for treatment.