Thursday, January 27, 2005

Unsafe Sex Study

From this report:

The public health burden related to unsafe sexual activity is three times higher in the U.S. than in other developed nations, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites).

Nearly all the premature deaths and adverse health consequences are preventable, the investigators maintain.

I wasn't able to look at the original study, but a few things in the report caught my eye:

The study showed that sexual behavior accounted for nearly 30,000 deaths and around 20 million adverse health consequences in 1998, such as infertility, abortions, and sexually transmitted infections.


Cervical cancer was the leading cause of sex-related mortality among women, followed by HIV.

Something's not right with this study. Abortion isn't an adverse health consequence of sexual behavior, pregnancy is. In other words, the comparison is between not pregnant and pregnant, and/or pregnancy and abortion.

Also, the 2003 estimates for cervical cancer in the U.S. are: more than 13,000 new cases, resulting in 4,100 deaths.

During the same year, an estimated 11,498 women had a diagnosis of AIDS, and 4,736 women with AIDS died.

An aside, but an important one. You should be aware of these numbers (emphasis mine):

The rate of AIDS diagnoses for African American women (50.2/100,000 women) was approximately 25 times the rate for white women (2.0/100,000) and 4 times the rate for Hispanic women (12.4/100,000)

Update: Here's another report on the study.


At 4:08 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

I agree that abortion shouldn't be counted as an adverse health consequence of sexual behavior. But I don't think it makes sense to count pregnancy that way, either - pregnancy is what's supposed to happen as a result of sexual behavior (regardless of whether particular individuals desire it). Though it may be a health risk, it's not adverse in the same sense as infertility or infection. I guess it would make more sense to count unwanted pregnancies, ignoring how they eventually end.


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