Which State Has the Highest STD Rates
The current surge of STD rates in the U.S. is being referred to as a national epidemic, due to the significant amount of cases nationwide. According to the director the CDC (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the increasing rates of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) “are a clear warning of a growing threat.” And the growing number of infections “is outpacing our ability to respond.”
An estimated 20 million new sexually transmitted infections are reported every year, with half of them occurring in individuals between the ages 15-24. The current annual, American health care costs for treating STD infections is approximately $16 billion.
Because the age group most affected by STDs is under the age of 25, a strong correlation can be drawn between the advent of mobile “hook up” apps such as Tinder and Grindr, the changing climate of healthcare options for young and underemployed individuals, and the growing instance of STD diagnosis.
In 2015 there were 39,393 people in the United States diagnosed with HIV (the deadly autoimmune disease that leads to AIDS). It is estimated that only 1 in 7 people in the United States with HIV know they are infected and have undergone treatment and management protocols.
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis rates are at historically high numbers in the United States and health experts agree that these statistics reflect the decrease in condom use, lack of education and awareness, as well as the reduction in the availability of sexual health clinics.
During 2016 in the United States alone there were:
- 1.59 million cases of Chlamydia reported (4.7% more than reported in 2015 with over 250,000 cases occurring in California, alone)
- 468,514 cases of gonorrhea reported (8.5% increase from 2015).
- 27,814 cases of syphilis reported (17.6% rise in reports since 2015).
- The rate of congenital syphilis (syphilis infection passed from mother to child during pregnancy) nearly doubled between 2012 and 2017 (Congenital syphilis can result in stillbirths and mental defects)
These statistics and calculations are based on reported cases and only account for a fraction of the overall STD burden in the United States. Undiagnosed and unreported infections contribute to the ongoing and widespread nature of STDs in America and the need to be vigilant over our sexual health and well-being, as a nation, is of paramount importance.
All three of these most common STDs (chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis) are treatable with antibiotics. If left untreated or undiagnosed, for an extended period, they can cause irreparable and sometimes life-threatening damage to the body. Early identification is critical in the successful treatment and reduction in the spread of disease.
(image source: https://www.legacycommunityhealth.org/warning-stds-are-on-the-rise/)
Highest STD Rates By State
The 3 most common STDs in the United States are, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
- To learn more about chlamydia, click here
- To learn more about gonorrhea, click here
- To learn more about syphilis, click here
All three of these STDs can exist in the human body but exhibit no physical symptoms. The spread of these diseases often occurs unknowingly by both sexual partners and, consequently, quickly spread to subsequent partners. Additionally, both chlamydia and gonorrhea are often diagnosed in the same individual, meaning that the infection of one STD makes a person susceptible to one or more STDs at one time. And any STD infection increases the risk of contracting HIV.
STDAware has compiled statistics to create a clearer picture of the influx of sexually transmitted diseases for these three most common STDs in the US. While the rise of STD rates is at critical highs, nationwide, some states have higher rates of instances. If you live in one of the States listed and have recently changed sexual partners, an STD infection should be a health concern.
The following ranked list of 1-10, is based on the frequency of the two most common STD infections in the United States (gonorrhea and chlamydia) and a weighted average between the two. Rates are calculated by the number of infections per 100,00 residents. All statistics are from various studies performed by the CDC and Background Check, in 2015 and 2016. Rates are specific to the time they were gathered by STDAware in May 2018.
Gonorrhea image: https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats16/figures/16.htm
Chlamydia image: https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats16/figures/4.htm
Syphilis image: https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats16/figures/33.htm
- Chlamydia Rate: 768.3 per 100,000 people
- Gonorrhea Rate: 151.1 per 100,000 people
- Syphilis Rate: 1.1 per 100,000 people
The State of Alaska tops the STD infection rate list with a very high instance of chlamydia infections per 100,000 people but the lowest syphilis infection rate. Alaskan residence should take it under advisement to be tested for STDs if they are outside of a mutually monogamous, long-term, and verified disease free relationship. With over 4,000 testing centers nationwide, getting tested with STDAware is simple and convenient.
- Chlamydia Rate: 695.2 per 100,000 people
- Gonorrhea Rate: 221.1 per 100,000 people
- Syphilis Rate: 15 per 100,000 people
Louisiana ranks closely with Alaska with a slightly lower rate of chlamydia diagnosis but higher levels of gonorrhea and syphilis infections. These high rates can partly be attributed to the general level of poverty, homelessness, incarceration and abstinence-only education, as well as low literacy rates. Louisiana residents should be routinely tested for STDs anytime there is a change in sexual partner(s) or habits. Individuals visiting Louisiana for vacation and Mardi Gras should exercise good judgment and condom use if they choose to have an “encounter” with a local. Testing at STDAware is simple, quick and accessible. To find out more about how to get tested with STD Aware, click here.
- Chlamydia Rate: 580.2 per 100,000 people
- Gonorrhea Rate: 192.9 per 100,000 people
- Syphilis Rate: 7.3 per 100,000 people
Mississippi makes the top 3rd in the list of high STD rates in the US. Similar socioeconomic factors as Louisiana can be assumed to contribute to the rate of STD reports. STDs in Mississippi are higher in the younger (under the age of 25) and gay male populations. MSM groups are particularly at risk for many STDs, including HIV. Proper condom use along with routine and pre-emptive STD testing are critical factors in reducing the spread of STDs.
Many young people do not ask their family medicine or general practitioner for STD testing because they are afraid the information will appear on insurance billing statements that are accessible by their parent(s) or guardian(s). STDAware’s ensures that test results are never shared and are 100% secure. To learn more about the STDAware Privacy Promise, click here.
#4 North Carolina
- Chlamydia Rate: 647.4 per 100, 000 people
- Gonorrhea Rate: 199.2 per 100, 000 people
- Syphilis Rate: 12 per 100, 000 people
North Carolina has seen a substantial increase in the Syphilis virus, and, is making a concerted effort to standardize the implementation of additional screenings for young women before and during pregnancy, as well as for gay men.
Syphilis in pregnant women can be passed to the unborn child resulting in what is known as congenital syphilis. Congenital syphilis can result in permanent disabilities, stillbirth, or early infant death.
DEFEND YOUR SEXUAL HEALTH.
#5 New Mexico
- Chlamydia Rate: 605.7 per 100, 000 people
- Gonorrhea Rate: 119.3 per 100, 000 people
- Syphilis Rate: 5.7 per 100, 000 people
In New Mexico, the increased rate in STD infections has a direct relationship with the increased rate in poverty and the absence of sexual health resources and education. While many STD testing services are available, the ability to access and understand what they do is minimal and confusing. STDAware takes the guesswork out of testing and advice staff, and medical experts are available to discuss testing and treatment options. Click here to learn more about the no-cost consultation services offered at STDAware.
- Chlamydia Rate: 570.8 per 100, 000 people
- Gonorrhea Rate: 158.3 per 100, 000 people
- Syphilis Rate: 14 per 100, 000 people
Researchers say that, in Georgia, the leading factor in the increasing STD rates is poverty, although lack of awareness and sexual education are two contributing factors, as well. STDAware provides no-cost resource solutions as well as access to advice consultations and prescription services.
- To take advantage of the free resource center on the STDAware website, click here.
- To learn more about the STDAware no-cost medical services, click here.
#7 South Carolina
- Chlamydia Rate: 569.9 per 100, 000 people
- Gonorrhea Rate: 169.8 per 100, 000 people
- Syphilis Rate: 6.1 per 100, 000 people
South Carolina is experiencing a dramatic increase in sexually transmitted diseases, especially in young people (under the age of 25). While the teen birth rate is going down due to using contraception, the healthcare system is falling short of STD education and proper treatment. To learn more about how STDs affect our young people, click here.
Early identification is paramount to ensuring successful treatment of many antibiotic-resistant strains of gonorrhea. STDAware provides the fastest turn around for test results in the industry. Click here to learn more about testing with STDAware.
- Chlamydia Rate: 545 per 100, 000 people
- Gonorrhea Rate: 161.1 per 100, 000 people
- Syphilis Rate: 4.5 per 100, 000 people
The public health department of Arkansas has been working to impact several areas that fuel the current STD epidemic. Efforts in increasing the number of STD testing centers, providing resource centers, treatment programs, and implementing more educational programs are on the rise but can be difficult to access depending on demographics.
- Chlamydia Rate: 542.2 per 100, 000 people
- Gonorrhea Rate: 168.7 per 100, 000 people
- Syphilis Rate: 5.4 per 100, 000 people
STDs are on the rise across the State of Oklahoma. The instances of STD infection are highest in three categories:
- Individuals between the ages of 20-24
- African Americans.
Categorically, these groups reflect a general need for resources, services, and education in the young and underserved populations nationwide. STDAware continues to work to provide no-cost resources as well as the most convenient STD testing services in the country.
- To learn more about the no-cost resource center provided by STDAware, click here.
- To learn more about how simple and accessible STDAware makes getting tested, click here.
- Chlamydia Rate: 492.2 per 100, 000 people
- Gonorrhea Rate: 140 per 100, 000 people
- Syphilis Rate: 4.4 per 100, 000 people
Closing down the top 10 on the list of States with the highest rates of STDs in the US is Delaware. In Delaware, STD rates reportedly continue to rise while condom use continues to fall. Proper condom use has a 98% success rate of preventing an STD infection. To read more about correct condom use, click here.
Aside from abstinence and consistent, correct condom use, pre-emptive and routine STD testing is the best way to defend your sexual health. Medical professionals agree that pre-emptive STD testing, anytime that there is a change in a sexual partner(s) and before engaging in any sexual activities, ensures that any STD condition is appropriately treated before moving forward, and reduces the spread of STD infections (both partners should be tested at the same time).
Advice counselors and medical staff are available to speak with you about your testing and treatment options. Click here to learn more about the full panel and individual testing options available at STDAware.
Defending Your Sexual Health From Anywhere In The Country
Whether or not you live in one of these high-ranking STD states, you should take steps to safeguard your sexual health and overall well-being. STDAware has over 4,000 testing locations, nationwide. Testing has never been more simple and convenient. To learn more about how to get tested at STDAware, click here.
Because so many STDs can exist in the body with no physical symptoms, many STDs can be spread without the knowledge or either sexual partner. The only way to know if you have an STD is to get tested.
If left untreated, many STDs can lead to serious medical complications, some of which are life-threatening. Early diagnosis is vital to the successful treatment and reduction in the spread of STDs. For a list of STDs and their associated symptoms, click here.
While any sexually active individual is at risk of an STD infection, some groups are statistically more susceptible, depending on age, race, ethnicity, as well as socioeconomic/demographic factors that lead to a lack of education and awareness around what STDs are, how they are transmitted, and safe sex practices. Such socioeconomic and demographic factors include family constructs, income/poverty level, and community support. To read more about how to increase STD prevention and awareness in our young people, click here.
STDAware provides no-cost resources, arming you and your sexual partner(s) with the information and services to defend America’s sexual health.
Experts agree that any sexually active individual should be routinely tested for STDs anytime there is a change in sexual partner or habits. Routine testing and removal of the stigma attached to STD testing and treatment are both steps in safeguarding the sexual health and overall well-being of both current and future generations.