Background: Analysis by the Kansas STD Program indicates that traditional disease intervention, interviewing and investigating, does not decrease overall state morbidity for chlamydia; whereas intervention for individuals with gonorrhea does positively impact overall state morbidity. African-Americans were 19 times more likely than Whites to have gonorrhea in Kansas in CY2008. The Kansas STD Program should impact a particularly insidious health disparity in the African-American community in Kansas with evidence-based interventions by redirecting resources from chlamydia to individuals with gonorrhea.
Objectives: Decease gonorrhea rates in Kansas 20/100,000 over the five year period, CY2009 through 2013.
Methods: Beginning January 1, 2009, the Kansas STD Control Program interviews all pregnant women, all individuals at public health departments where DIS are located, repeat positives, and ensure treatment of all gonorrhea cases. DIS are assigned to the health departments that have the highest percent African-Americans in their communities. These DIS assignment areas represented 83% of all the African-American gonorrhea cases reported from CY2004 through CY2008.
Results: Since January 1, 2009, the number of gonorrhea cases interviewed has increased by 41% compared to the first-half (FH)2008. Fifty-four percent of the interviews were with African-American individuals. Additionally, there has been a 54% increase in sexual partners initiated from the interviews; which has created a 74% increase in brought to treatment gonorrhea contacts and a 32% increase in gonorrhea contacts receiving preventive treatment as compared to FH2008.
Conclusions: When maximizing efforts to focus on a specific disease low-morbidity areas can make extensive and severe productivity changes in a short period of time.
Implications for Programs, Policy, and/or Research: Low-morbidity areas have the tools to impact racial health disparities though traditional disease intervention.