Youth STD Rates
The rate at which youth age 15 to 19 living in St. Louis are diagnosed with chlamydia
Black youth are nearly ten times as likely as white youth to be diagnosed with chlamydia.
A score of 100 represents racial equity, meaning there are no racial disparities in outcomes between black and white populations. The lower the Equity Score, the greater the disparity.
For Youth STD Rates, a score of 100 — a score reflecting racial equity — would mean black and white youth are equally likely to be diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is important to note that for this indicator, equity is not our only goal: we also want to improve outcomes for all.
What does this indicator measure?
Youth STD Rates measures the rate at which youth age 15 to 19 living in St. Louis are diagnosed with chlamydia. Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases that occurs among both men and women. While easily treated with antibiotics, chlamydia can cause infertility in women if left untreated. In 2016, according to the City of St. Louis Department of Health, there were 1,215 reported cases of chlamydia for youth age 15 to 19. This equates to a rate of 8,306 chlamydia cases per 100,000 people.
Youth STD Rate analysis
Annual chlamydia cases per 100,000 residents age 15-19 in St. Louis City.
|All||Black||White||Disparity Ratio||Equity Score|
|Annual chlamydia cases per 100,000 residents age 15-19||8306.1||10,029.7||1,044.7||9.601 to 1||2|
Data Note: Rates for this indicator are age-adjusted based on 2000 standard population.
What does this analysis mean?
Black youth are nearly ten times as likely as white youth to be diagnosed with chlamydia. Black youth are diagnosed with chlamydia at a rate of 10,030 cases per 100,000 people, while white youth are diagnosed at a rate of 1,045 cases per 100,000 people. The latest reports from the City of St. Louis Department of Health report that 70% of all chlamydia cases occur in youth between the ages of 13 and 24, and that 80% of youth with chlamydia are black. If STD rates were equitable, there would be 906 fewer cases of chlamydia in black youth annually.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chlamydia is reported at a rate of 1,929.2 cases per 100,000 people age 15-19 nationally. In addition, the national rate of reported cases of chlamydia among black people was 5.6 times the rate among white people. Our city’s racial disparity in infection rates is nearly double the national average. Furthermore, black youth in St. Louis are five times as likely to contract chlamydia as all youth in the U.S.
Why do Youth STD Rates matter?
Because chlamydia is an asymptomatic disease, the number of reported cases is probably an underestimate of actual incidence. Untreated, chlamydia has long lasting physical effects on women’s health. According to the City of St. Louis Department of Health, "Women with untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea develop pelvic inflammatory disease which can lead to infertility. Babies born to women with untreated STIs may suffer death or experience significant damage and sometimes permanent disability. STIs can increase the risk of HIV transition and acquisition."
Which Calls to Action from the Ferguson Commission are linked with this indicator?
The Ferguson Commission report included calls to action to:
Questions for further investigation
- Why is there a racial disparity in Youth STD Rates?
- What can St. Louis do to reduce racial disparities in Youth STD Rates?
- What initiatives are currently underway to reduce racial disparities in Youth STD Rates?
How can I learn more about this issue?
The City of St. Louis Department of Health produces regular reports on sexually transmitted diseases. Free or reduced cost STD testing is available at a number of locations. To learn more about prevention resources, visit STL Condoms, a project of the City of St. Louis Department of Health.