Los Angeles public healthcare officials and advocates for disadvantaged communities are blaming systemic racism for spiking rates of sexually transmitted diseases.
Members of the Department of Public Health Department, WeCanStopSTDsLA, and the L.A. County Center for Health Equity are complaining that they have been unsuccessful in addressing the what they see as spiking rates chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and other STDs in the county.
Dr. Michael Hochman, a senior health deputy for County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, told the Los Angeles Times that the polices the county and others have adopted are not working, or the number of reported cases would not continue to climb. Dr. Hochman in frustration added, “If you keep doing the same thing and expect a different result, then that’s insanity.”
Hochman blames the spiking trend in STDs on officials’ inability to curb so-called high-risk behavior, such as higher African-American adolescent substance abuse, leading to higher rates of unprotected adult sex. Hochman says Los Angeles’ syphilis rates among African-American women are 3 times higher than those of Latina women, and six times higher than those of white women, because of an alleged unwillingness to admit STDs are a reflection of “systemic racism.”
“Systemic racism” is a trendy left-wing term popularized by Texas A&M Professor Joe Feagin in his 2014 book, Racist America: Roots, Current Realities, & Future Reparations.
The latest report from the Los Angeles County Public Health STD survey for 2016 does confirm that the number of gonorrhea cases more than doubled over the prior five-year period, and that 50 percent of chlamydia cases and about 32 percent of gonorrhea cases diagnosed each year are among individuals between the ages of 15 and 24.
For Los Angeles County’s 10.2 million residents, the STD rate per 100,000 for chlamydia and gonorrhea was 781, or about three-quarters of one percent. Although that may sound like a devastatingly bad statistic, Los Angeles County is not in the top 30 locations for STDs in the U.S.
The worst community in America for chlamydia and gonorrhea STDs is St. Louis, Missouri, which has a rate of 1,837 per 100,000 residents; followed by Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Montgomery, Alabama, that both tied for second place with 1,815 per 100,000. The only California city that made it into the top 30 is San Francisco at number 28, with a chlamydia and gonorrhea rate of 892 per 100,000.