Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The Triple Crown of Venereal Disease: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
For years, the citizens of Washington, DC held the bragging rights as the Homicide Capital of the United States, in addition to being the actual capital. Then they had to share that status with New Orleans. Now I think they’re having to contend with local neighbor Baltimore. For awhile, they had the bragging rights to having a crackhead Mayor in and out of jail, but then along came Kwame Kilpatrick, Larry Langford, and others to spoil that claim to fame.
But D.C. needs a statistical superiority all its own, something her citizens can be proud of. I mean, everyone deserves to be #1 at something, don’t they?
Well, fret no longer, residents of the District. You’re now the Venereal Disease Capital of America!
You win, place, and show. You win gold, silver, and bronze. Call it the Triple Crown of Social Disease.
Washington, D.C., has the dubious distinction of beating all 50 states to post the highest rates in the nation for Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, according to a new report released by the CDC in Atlanta. The CDC report, released Monday, is based on 2007 surveillance statistics, and was updated in 2008.
The District has a Chlamydia rate of 1,177 cases per 100,000 people, damn near three times the rate of its neighbors, Virginia (405 per 100,000) and Maryland (439 per 100,000).
Mississippi was a distant second, at 728 cases per 100,000 people. Cheer up, Magnolia State; while in 2007 Mississippi students scored the lowest of any state on the National Assessments of Educational Progress in both math and science, at least you’re a distant second in cases of The Creeping Clam.
By comparison, California’s Chlamydia rate was 407 cases per 100,000; New York came in at 458; New Mexico at 470; Utah at 377 and Maine’s rate was a mere 198 per 100,000.
For gonorrhea, D.C.’s rate was 451.5 cases per 100,000--almost twice that of second-ranking Mississippi (256.8); more than three times the rate of its neighbors Virginia (134) and Maryland (118); more than 13 times the rate of Oregon (32.5) and more than 25 times the rate of Utah (18). Again, denizens of our 20th state, take heart in being a distant second with The Clap, too.
Other state rates for gonorrhea include: 160.9 for Illinois; 134 for Texas and 88.7 for New York.
D.C.’s nation-leading syphilis rate of 24.8 cases (including both primary and secondary syphilis) per 100,000 dwarf second-place Louisiana's 16.5 per 100,000 rate and third-place Alabama’s rate of 9.7 per 100,000. It’s nearly four times the rate of Maryland (6.7).
By comparison, the syphilis rate was 6.3 per 100,000 for New York; 6.0 for California; 4.3 for Illinois; 3.4 for Virginia and 0.05 for Iowa.
Seemingly missing from the report is that trusty old standby STD, herpes. For all we know, Washington could be the leader in herpes infections too, although my own research seems to point fingers at New York City and Atlanta.
I guess what goes around comes around. After so many years of screwing the nation, Washington finally got burned…