Sunday, January 30, 2005

"We're Number One! We're Number One!"

Yes, we're Number One. In sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), anyway.

And not by a little: rates of disease and disability three times higher than in other industrialized nations (Amanda Gardner, HealthDay Reporter). Using 1998 national data on sexual health and reproduction, surveillance systems for infectious diseases, hospital and outpatient statistics, birth and death records as well as published research, CDC researchers estimated public health burden in terms of the adverse health consequences of infertility, cervical cancer and HIV infections (study published in the Jan. 27 issue of the British journal Sexually Transmitted Infections). As measured by Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) and premature deaths, STDs accounted for 20 million adverse health consequences and about 30,000 deaths (1.3% of US deaths). If HIV/AIDS is included, men constituted 2/3 of the deaths, but without HIV/AIDS, women were almost 90% of the deaths (from cervical cancer, associated with human papilloma virus, a sexually transmitted viral infection). (hat tip, Sam Dawes, for correction).

That's one (of many) reasons to oppose the Republican push to require teenagers to have parental consent (see here and here) for seeking reproductive health services. It is an assault on women with potentially fatal outcome.

Or maybe it's just a "family values" example of justifiable homicide for disobedience?