An Epidemic in Kalamazoo County : Increasing Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Rates among Black Youth
Kalamazoo County has a consistently high prevalence of sexually transmitted infections. However, in 2014, the infection rates rose 27% over the previous year, which was double the statewide average. The two fastest growing sexually transmitted infections are gonorrhea and chlamydia. The rising gonorrhea and chlamydia rates among black youth are an example of a health inequity in Kalamazoo County. Race and socioeconomic status are factors that play a role in continuation of the health inequity. More diversity among health care officials would allow more of a connection with their diverse patients. This diversity will inspire trust within the community and allow health care officials to become more culturally competent. Instead of attempting to treat those who have already been infected, Kalamazoo County needs interventions to address the root of the problem. The purpose of this analysis is to answer the question, ‘Why black youth?’ through an examination of historical health disparities attributed to race and socioeconomic status.
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