Chlamydia and gonococcal infections among Hispanic adolescent females

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Prevalence of chlamydia and gonococcal infections is highly spread among young adults in the United States. Substantial ethnic and racial disparities are present in both prevalences of chlamydia and gonococcal infections. Most young women engage in sexual activity during adolescence; this increases the risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which accompanies this initiation. A study was done to evaluate the prevalence of most common STIs among female adolescents in United States using a representative sample. It was found that prevalence of any of the 5 STIs was 37.7% among sexually experienced female adolescents and 24.1% among all (pfliger,2013). Chlamydial and gonococcal infections were among the most prevalence STIs. Hispanic origin has a high prevalence of these infections than whites that create an interest to study this topic.

In United States, chlamydia trachomatis causes the most common bacterial transmitted disease (CDC, 2015). 5 percent of U.S. women aged 18-26 and 4 percent of men have chlamydia; prevalence is high among black women (14%), black men (11%) and Hispanic men (7%) in the same age group. In comparison, gonococcal infection prevalence is low (0.4%), but is high among blacks (2%). These results, which are from Wave 3 of the National Longitudinal study of Adolescent Health, are consistent with results from documented literature that has wide disparities in rates of other STDs and HIV.

In women’s organism, chlamydia trachomatis and gonococcal infections can cause long-term and acute morbidity, including pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pelvic pain, infertility from fallopian tubes scarring and ectopic pregnancy. Chlamydial infection has also been linked to an increased risk of cervical cancer, and both gonococcal and chlamydial infections may increase HIV transmission in both men and women. In United States 2000, the direct medical cost associated with both chlamydial and gonococcal infections among 15 to 24-year-old were estimated $325 million (Mylonas, 2013).

Surveillance data show higher rates of STDs (reported) among some ethnic or racial minority groups when compared rates with whites. In United States, race and ethnicity are population characteristics that a correlate with health status fundamentals determinants (data et al, 2012). Social and economic conditions, such as income inequality, poverty, unemployment, geographical isolation and low education attainment make it difficult for people to their sexual health. Most of the people of Hispanic ethnicity face additional barriers arising from undocumented citizenship status and immigration. Even when healthcare is available, fear and lack of trust to healthcare institutions negatively affect healthcare care seeking for most of ethnic/racial minority where there is provider bias, social discrimination (Satterwhite et al, 2013).

In Hispanic communities where the STD prevalence is high, individuals may experience high difficult time reducing the risk for infection, with each sexual encounter; they face a higher chance of meeting an infected partner than those individuals in lower prevalence settings. Acknowledging the inequity in STIs rates by ethnicity/race can be one of the first steps for empowering the affected community to organize and focus on this difficult. Surveillance data show in 2012, chlamydia rate among Hispanics was 380.3 cases per 100000 of the population that is two times higher than the rate in whites. The gonorrhea rate for the same year was also found to be 60.4 cases per 100000 population (1.9 times the rate for the whites).

The study will provide information regarding the prevalence of chlamydial and gonococcal infections in Hispanic adolescents females. Understanding prevalence risk of the infections to Hispanic adolescence women can form interventions to reduce the occurrence of these transmitted diseases to the Hispanic group hence the whole general group of women. Interventions to alleviate young female adult perception risk may influence healthcare-seeking behavior in a way that will reduce gonorrhea and chlamydia rates.

Perceived risk of infection is a significant aspect of chlamydia and gonorrhea prevalence reduction for two reasons. First, perception risk influences sexual behavior. STD intervention programs pursue to change sexual behavior by altering perception risks. Perceived risk and use of condom have yielded results in control of these infections. Second, perceptions risk influence health care-seeking behavior .An individual who thinks he or she could have STD is more likely to seek nurse or doctor evaluation than an individual with no perceived risk. Health care is more effective in chlamydia and gonorrhea reduction since both infections are easy to diagnose and cure with a single oral antibiotic dose(CDC, 2015). Studies have shown early detection and treatment can prevent complications and infections spread through sexual network.

I would like first to explore why are the infections more prevalent in Hispanic young females than any other group of whites, this is because surveillance data conducted on 2012 showed that chlamydia rate among Hispanics was 380.3 cases per 100,000 (two times the rate among the whites), and gonorrhea rate was 60.4 cases per 100000 population among the Hispanics (1.9 times the rate among the white). Second, which intervention programs can be used to prevent or reduce the prevalence of chlamydia and gonococcus infections among adolescent Hispanic females? Help the Hispanic group to overcome this infection, which are affecting their young females mostly.

US females adolescents, STIs burden, is considerable, is most common in minority race/ ethnic groups such as Hispanics, Asians, blacks, Native Hawaiians/other Pacific islanders.

Only adoptions of good healthcare programs can reduce the prevalence of these STIs especially chlamydia and gonococcus infections that are more prevalent among women.


Satterwhite, C. L., Torrone, E., Meites, E., Dunne, E. F., Mahajan, R., Ocfemia, M. C. B., ... & Weinstock, H. (2013). Sexually transmitted infections among US women and men: prevalence and incidence estimates, 2008.Sexually transmitted diseases, 40(3), 187- 193.

Datta, S. D., Torrone, E., Kruszon-Moran, D., Berman, S., Johnson, R., Satterwhite, C. L., ... & Weinstock, H. (2012). Chlamydia trachomatis trends in the United States among persons 14 to 39 years of age, 1999–2008. Sexually transmitted diseases, 39(2), 92-96

Pflieger, J. C., Cook, E. C., Niccolai, L. M., & Connell, C. M. (2013). Racial/ethnic differences in patterns of sexual risk behavior and rates of sexually transmitted infections among female young adults. American journal of public health,103(5)903-909.

Mylonas, I. (2012). Female genital Chlamydia trachomatis infection: where are we heading?. Archives of gynecology and obstetrics, 285(5), 1271-1285.

June 16, 2022
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