Monday, June 9, 2008

Time for a New Paradigm?

I've been looking at the news stories out today about the rate of genital herpes, Herpes Simplex 2, in the population of New York City, here and here and here. The stories say that the New York City health officials are urging condom use and getting testing for the the virus.

Genital herpes is not curable and can cause painful sores. While the overall infection rate in New York City is 26%, using this figure masks significant differences in population subgroups.

The biggest difference is racial with 49% of blacks have this and 14% of whites. The second biggest difference is gender -- 36% of women have this and 19% of men. However, among men, 32% of men who have sex with men have this and 18% of men who don't have sex with men.

A person with this virus is twice as likely to contract HIV when exposed to it.

The study was performed by the New York Public Health Department and published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases. The national rate, which has declined in recent years, is 19%.

eflux media reports:
The health department urges the population to consistently use condoms and says that STD clinics offer free, confidential herpes testing.

In an attempt to prevent sexually transmitted diseases from spreading, The Health Department has distributed more than 48 million NYC condoms since 2007 and continues to give more than 3 million free condoms a month at various locations, such as health clinics or bars.

Maybe instead of urging condom use and testing, the New York City health officials should open their minds to a new paragigm. Maybe they should try urging sexual chastity -- abstinence outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage.

H/T Mike Bertaut at Stand Firm

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