Incidence of Gonorrhea and Chlamydia in Urban Settings: The Case for Neighborhood Level Analysis in Boston


The sexually transmitted infections (STIs) gonorrhea and chlamydia are known to disproportionately affect impoverished communities and communities of color, especially in urban areas. Moreover, socioeconomic and demographic factors such as poverty and race/ethnicity may contribute to a difference in treatment setting choice as well as a delay in care seeking. In an urban metropolitan area such as Boston, the overall gonorrhea and chlamydia rates are higher than national rates, and such differences are even more marked in certain neighborhoods with greater proportions of individuals who are impoverished, young, and of color. Using a retrospective analysis of city wide data, we highlight the effects of socioeconomic and demographic variables on urban STI prevalence. High poverty rates, race/ethnicity and younger adult populations are linked to disproportionately high STI rates. Interestingly, STI rates do not appear to be influenced by the universal health care coverage offered to the whole Massachusetts’ resident populations. We examine the effects of these variables in Boston neighborhoods in conjunction to STI rates and hypothesize that the observed rates are underestimates of the true prevalence of infection. Future studies will investigate how these same socioeconomic and demographic factors influence which treatment settings are chosen and subsequently lead to a delay in treatment.

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Cattley, C. , Massari, P. and Genco, C. (2015) Incidence of Gonorrhea and Chlamydia in Urban Settings: The Case for Neighborhood Level Analysis in Boston. Advances in Infectious Diseases, 5, 162-166. doi: 10.4236/aid.2015.54020.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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