You might know that chlamydia is one of the most commonly reported sexually transmitted diseases in the country, but did you know where it makes the most impact in the United States? Looking at data from the CDC’s most recent STD Surveillance Report, the top ranked states in the country for this common and curable infection just might surprise you.
If you’re concerned about STDs in your area or worry you might be at risk, it might be the right time to get tested.
Why Alaska? This territory pales in comparison when it comes to overall population, however, the rate of infection is what places this non-mainland state as number one for reported chlamydia infections.
With only 5,789 cases reported in 2014 (compared to California’s 176,308), this northernmost corner of American claims a rate of 787.5 new chlamydia diagnoses per 100,000 residents, compared to California’s 459.9 and Texas’ 496.1, according to the CDC’s National Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report.
The southern region of the United States accounts for a disproportionate share of sexually transmitted diseases. In 2014, the state of Mississippi reported a chlamydia rate infection of 655.4 cases per 100,000 residents. All around the United States, this infection most commonly affects young people between the ages between 15-24.
The youth of this region already face various odds against them, including the statistic that 32.4% of all children in the state living below the poverty line. Mississippi is also ranked 50th in the nation for overall child well-being, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Report.
The state of Louisiana is divided into 64 separate parishes, just as the other 48 states in the union are separated into counties. In fact, it is the only state in the union to adopt this practice. Two of those most notable parishes are Orleans and East Baton Rouge, home to the state’s two most populous cities, New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
In Louisiana, the rate of chlamydia infection in 2014 was 626.0 diagnoses per 100,000 residents. Not only does Louisiana help lead the country in the rate of chlamydia infections, but it also maintains a history of some of the highest infection rates of gonorrhea and primary and secondary syphilis in the nation.
With Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi all neighboring one another geographically as well as within the ranks of the highest chlamydia infection rates in America, it’s important to consider the factors that make these southern populations so vulnerable to the spread of sexually transmitted disease.
According to the CDC, the youth of the nation bears an unbalanced burden of STDs nationwide. The 15-24 year old age group accounts for 27% of the sexually active population, however, they are estimated to have 10 million of the 20 million sexually transmitted infections in the country. Comprehensive, effective sexual education could be the key to a happier, healthier youth population in Alabama and all throughout areas with high reports of STDs.
5. South Carolina
Once again, a state from the southeast region of the United States takes a ranking position regarding the highest rates of chlamydia in the nation. According to the CDC state health profile released in 2015, the government agency provides the state funding to establish “community-wide, science-based, interdisciplinary approach to addressing STDs.”
In 2014, South Carolina reported 588.2 new diagnoses per 100,000 people in its state limits. This average rate of infection is 22.4% more than that of the national average. Even with additional funding, it remains to be seen how the South can recover from its status as a harbor for these common communicable infections.