CDC: Gonorrhea and syphilis on the rise, mostly in gay men

But it's not their fault; blame the homophobes.

The Centers for Disease Control has just issued some good news and bad news: Lung cancer rates are down but  gonorrhea and syphilis are on the rise, mostly in gay men.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found lung cancer rates fell 2.6 percent per year among men and 1.1 percent per year among women. As the UPI reported:

"These dramatic declines in the number of young adults with lung cancer show that tobacco prevention and syphilis gonorrhea postercontrol programs work -- when they are applied," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said in a statement.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of U.S. cancer death and the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among both American men and women. Most lung cancers are attributable to cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke, Frieden said.

In other words, the CDC acknowledges that some smokers have recognized the consequences of their actions and have accepted responsibility by changing their behavior. They didn't blame someone else for their self-destructive habits.

Not so with gonorrhea , which increased  rose 4 percent in 2012 from the year before,  and syphilis, which rose a troubling  11 percent. The CDC blamed someone else because of homophobia and the supposed lack of access to the most affected populations (i.e. gay men.) Even though conclusion is not something that you'll find in the CDC tables.

Here's the CDC's  lame attempt at explaining it:

While all three diseases [including chlamydia] are curable with antibiotics, many people don’t get tested as recommended, said Gail Bolan, the director of the CDC’s STD prevention division. That’s especially the case for syphilis, where the rise is entirely attributable to men, particularly those who are gay or bisexual.

“We know that having access to high-quality health care is important to controlling and reducing STDs,” Bolan said in a telephone interview. “Some of our more-vulnerable populations don’t have access. There are a number of men who come in to our clinic for confidential services because they’re too embarrassed to see their primary care doctors.”

Right, they don't go see their doctors because they are embarrassed, and they're embarrassed because there are so many homophobes out there.

Aw, come on. Does this mean that gay men don't know how to use a condom or they don't know how to find a doctor? Too poor? There's Medicaid. Can't afford a condom? You've got to be kidding. Don't know how to use it? Where have they been hiding?

As long as official government "experts" can find multiple excuses that rationalize self-destructive behavior, I suspect that the infection rate will continue. Funny how the CDC can see how taking responsibility for their own actions has improved the health of ex-smokers, but can't see through the politically correct fog when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases.

Maybe this answers the question that some of my correspondents pose when they ask, "What's it to you who is screwing who? It's none of your business." Putting aside the increased public health costs of this behavior, I guess it isn't my business. I guess that means I shouldn't care about these men, either, whatever the cause of their troubles.

What's America's worst war? Vietnam? Iraq? Afghanistan? Go here to find out why it was the War of 1812

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  • And cue, Aquinas Wired says assuredly, in spirit, these men are not Republican..

  • I'm curious. The Catholic Church is opposed to providing birth control devices to their heterosexual employees. Would the Church be opposed to providing medical care insurance covering condoms and instruction in their use for homosexual employees to prevent the rising threat of gonorrhea and syphilis? Would it oppose providing insurance including condom instruction for heterosexuals to prevent the spread of these diseases once the employee is diagnosed as being infected?

  • You'd have to ask the Catholic Church. I don't speak for it and I disagree with its position on contraceptives. But I do support its argument that it shouldn't be forced to participate in something that it considers to be morally wrong. (The Constitution, you know.) If the church doesn't participate, does it mean that some folks will be grievously hurt? Not in my book. My point is that responsible people are capable of doing everything necessary themselves (e.g. obtain protection, practice safe sex, educate themselves) without forcing the church to do it. Somehow blaming the church is nothing more than a whine.

  • And in other news divorce is on the rise, mainly in heterosexual couples.

  • What an utterly nutty, twisted take on a perfectly straightforward health story.

  • Lacking any intelligent response from you, hatch3, I have to ask: So what part don't you agree with? That STDs are increasing among gay men because some are not acting responsibly? That there are public health costs associated with the increase?

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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