October 23, 2019 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Sun, Celebrity and STIs

You may have noticed the billboard – in fact, you’ve definitely noticed the billboard – right where Holloway Drive feeds into Santa Monica Boulevard, smack dab in the middle of West Hollywood. The advertisement declares in no-nonsense Helvetica that “Syphilis is Serious” accompanied by a close-up of a young man’s chest with a full-blown syphilitic rash. In a city accustomed to luxe billboards with beautiful men and women airbrushed within an inch of their life, the clinical photo is a bit of a departure. That’s the point.

The billboard is nothing new for West Hollywood. The organization behind the PSA, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF,) has long turned to simple, sometimes shocking advertisements to get their message across and promote their STD treatment services. But based on a new report released by the California Department of Public Health  (CDPH) on rates of sexually transmitted infections in 2017, it seems like AHF may need to take out a few more ads.

According to the report, Californian men and women have seen a dramatic rise in the rates of sexually transmitted diseases, with men presenting the most cases of gonorrhea and syphilis and women reporting the most cases of chlamydia. 

Overall, cases of gonorrhea rose 16 percent in 2017 when compared to 2016, with a total of 75,450 documented cases in the Golden State. People under the age of 25 represented a third of all cases of gonorrhea. One factor that has complicated the battle against gonorrhea is the rise of antibiotic-resistant strains that resist standard treatments.

Syphilis, it turns out, was also serious, with a 20 percent increase of cases to 13,605 – the highest number in California since 1987.

Cases of chlamydia also broke records, climbing 9 percent to 218,710, the highest number since reporting began in 1990. 

“STDs are preventable by consistently using condoms, and many STDs can be cured with antibiotics,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith in a statement. “Regular testing and treatment are very important for people who are sexually active, even for people who have no symptoms. Most people infected with an STD do not know it.”

One of the most concerning data points in the report is the disparity in rates of STIs between Caucasians and African-Americans, who experience infections five times more frequently than white populations. While the issue of health disparities between racial groups is multifaceted, it implicates a failure of educational and outreach efforts into Black communities.

Tags: , , , in SEX
Related Posts

COLUMN: When Same-sex Parents Divorce, Who Gets Custody of Frozen Embryos?

October 9, 2019

October 9, 2019

By Debra R. Schoenberg, Esq.  The miracles of modern medicine can offer the gift of life to many same-sex couples...

DEAR AIDAN: Feeling Disappointed, Discouraged

September 27, 2019

September 27, 2019

Dear Aidan, I was wondering if you can help me… I am so disappointed in my dating life! Everytime I...

DEAR AIDAN: Disclosing HIV Positive Status?

July 25, 2019

July 25, 2019

Dear Aidan: I am HIV Positive and am jumping into the dating world. I know that there is a stigma...

COLUMN: L.A. in the Ranking of American Cities for LGBTQ+ Dating

July 24, 2019

July 24, 2019

By David Cusick Across the US, the LGBTQ+ community is becoming more widely accepted each day and each year. Still,...

GAY L.A. – New Doc Celebrates the Queer Legacy of Circus of Books

July 23, 2019

July 23, 2019

The Sunset Boulevard store was the first to go, back in 2016. Last year, the West Hollywood flagship Circus of...

GAY LA: The Fate of Damron Address Book?

July 14, 2019

July 14, 2019

Before AIDS, Airbnb and Grindr changed the face of gay life forever, there were limited ways of finding your people,...

“Shooting Star” Attempts to De-stigmatize Porn Industry

May 25, 2019

May 25, 2019

The porn industry is a $97 billion business, making it bigger than the music industry. Yet, it remains an industry that...

DEAR AIDAN: Facing Racism While Trying to Hook Up at Pride

May 17, 2019

May 17, 2019

By Aidan Park Dear Aidan, I felt I could write to you because you could relate to this issue in...

Stans 2: Los Angeles’ Premier Adult Superstore

May 15, 2019

May 15, 2019

By Staff Writer Located on Walnut Drive backed up to the 60 Freeway (between freeway off-ramps; Nogales and Fairway north...

The Most Anticipated Films Out of the HUMP! Festival

March 7, 2019

March 7, 2019

Dan Savage’s short-form porn fest celebrates its 14th year. Everyone has their own special relationship to porn. Some adore it....

DEAR AIDAN: Feeling Sexually Incompatible

February 15, 2019

February 15, 2019

Dear Aidan: I met a terrific guy. We hit it off on every level. Emotionally he is open, honest and...

Give the Gift of Delivery with Luber This Holiday Season

December 11, 2018

December 11, 2018

For more information, visit Luber’s website

Long Beach LGBTQ+ Novelty Shop “Hot Stuff” Up in Flames Friday Night

November 10, 2018

November 10, 2018

After 45 Long Beach firefighters battled a blazing fire almost an hour and a half, local LGBTQ+ novelty shop Hot...

COLUMN: Facing the Racism, Prejudices of Gay Dating Apps

November 3, 2018

November 3, 2018

By Elijah Root Sanchez The dating pool is getting a little Kindr. Grindr is launching a “Kindr” campaign in attempts...

LGBT HISTORY MONTH: Los Angeles’ First Porn Theatre Getting Renovated

October 3, 2018

October 3, 2018

Often titled the oldest stage venue in Los Angeles, Theatre Merced has a long standing, titillating history in the LGBTQ+...