The Indian Health Service (IHS) National STD program and the IHS Division of Epidemiology and Disease Prevention have released the Indian Health Surveillance Report — Sexually Transmitted Diseases 2015. The report presents statistics and trends for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) in the United States and represents a unique collaboration and partnership between the IHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The initial report, containing data through 2004, was published in November 2006. Additional editions of the report were produced in 2009, 2012, and 2014.
This current report summarizes 2011– 2015 national and IHS Area-level data and trends for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis among AI/ AN people. It consists of two main components presenting 2011–2015 data: The National STD Profile, which contains text and figures that provide an overview of STD morbidity among AI/ANs in the United States; and the IHS Area STD Profiles representing rates and trends for the 12 IHS Administrative Areas.
The Indian Health Surveillance Report — Sexually Transmitted Diseases 2015 shows the continuing trend of a nationwide increase in STDs. The report highlights disparities among AI/AN with national data indicating that in 2015 AI/AN had the second highest rates for chlamydia and gonorrhea and the fourth highest rates for syphilis among all racial and ethnic groups. Regional differences for each of the conditions were observed with gonorrhea rates increasing nationally among AI/AN. The report also highlights the STD disparities among AI/AN youth and among AI/AN women, particularly women of reproductive age.
This report can serve as a valued reference for those working in Indian Country and others concerned with the public health implications of STDs for AI/AN populations. Improved awareness of these health disparities among diverse stakeholders, including clinicians, public health professionals, and advocacy professionals, helps inform activities aimed at reducing STD rates in AI/AN communities.
NACCHO, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and the National Coalition of STD Directors will be hosting a webinar on this data in the coming months. Stay tuned for more info!