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The federal Centers for Disease Control has just released 2006 statistics for sexually transmitted diseases, and San Diego County ranks near the top in two categories. In numbers of reported chlamydia cases, we're 7th nationally, with 11,980 total reported cases, a rate of 408.4 per 100,000 people. (Los Angeles County heads the list with 42,943 cases and has a rate of 432.2 per 100,000; the city of Saint Louis, Missouri, number 41 with 4581 cases, boasts the top rate of 1330.3 per 100,000.)

In the category of primary and secondary syphilis, San Diego came in 8th, with 235 cases, a rate of 8.0 per 100,000. (L.A., again heading the list, had 866 cases, a rate of 8.7 per 100,000; San Francisco County, which placed 4th with 244 cases, had a much higher rate of 33 per 100,000, largely due, the CDC says, to growing incidences of unprotected sex between men.)

In the category of gonorrhea, San Diego was in a more comfortable 18th place out of the 65 counties and 3 independent cities ranked, with 2767 cases, a rate of 94.3 per 100,000. That compares favorably with number one, Chicago's Cook County, with 12,605 cases and a staggering rate of 237.7 per 100,000.

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