Why Don`t They Call Them "Venereal Diseases" Anymore?
January 17, 2009, 04:32 PM
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A professor at the Yale Medical School named Sydney Spiesel writes in Slate:

About this time every year, the CDC issues its annual statistical report about sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. The surveillance report for 2007 has just come out (it takes about a year to compile and process the statistics). It is long—almost 170 pages—and, as usual, disquieting. Our uncomfortable feelings about sexuality have caused STDs to be stigmatizing ...

Now, I'm not a doctor, but it's my impression that rather than our "uncomfortable feelings about sexuality" that "have caused STDs to be stigmatizing," it's more the oozing sores.

Later on the good doctor notes, without specifying any facts, "the very different case rates between ethnic groups." He doesn't explain what those differences are, but looking in the government report, I find that it looks like STD rates are quite similar to crime rates in their racial ratios. For example, the CDC says: "In 2007, the gonorrhea rate among black men was 26 times higher than that in white men," although that is anomalously high—the usual black-white ratio for the various diseases is more like 8 to 1, with the Hispanic to white ratio typically in the 2 or 3 to 1 range, and Asians the same or healthier than whites.

In Slate, Spiesel asks plaintively:

Are the germs really ethnically and geographically prejudiced?
Haven't the germs heard about Obama yet? We live in an era of post-racial transcendence. Get with the times, germs!