10 States With the Worst STD Problems

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As of 2010 research, gonorrhea is up, chlamydia is diagnosed faster thanks to more accurate screening measures, and syphilis declined after experiencing a brief spike. Delving into the intricate whats and whys behind why some states in particular see surges in different STDs and STIs over others proves exceptionally complicated, but it definitely means one solid, absolute conclusion. Wherever possible, whenever possible (and appropriate — it might not go over so well as a Thanksgiving dinner topic!), teach communities about proper safe sex protocol. Doing so will hack away at these disconcerting numbers and hopefully save some lives along the way.

For consistency’s sake, all data comes courtesy of the Center for Disease Control’s 2010 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance. Please keep in mind the research does not cover STDs and STIs on the whole, so it will be presented as the top 10 per the three diseases their studies measured. Rates on other conditions might skew rankings of which states seem to experience the worst STD problems, but regardless of where one chooses to engage in sexual contact, one must always be careful. Obviously, practicing safe sex reduces the risk of more than just chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, and everyone should receive a thorough, balanced education on the best prevention methods, recognizing symptoms, and treatment options.

  1. Alaska (chlamydia), Mississippi (gonorrhea), Louisiana (syphilis):

    In 2010, Alaska saw 6,019 cases of chlamydia reported, at a rate of 861.7 per every 100,000 citizens. Gonorrhea impacted 209.9 out of 100,000, or 6,195 total, Mississippians. 12.2 out of 100,000 Louisiana residents live with syphilis, meaning about 546 reported cases.

  2. Mississippi (chlamydia), Louisiana (gonorrhea), Georgia (syphilis):

    Mississippi’s chlamydia rate sits at 725.5 cases per 100,000, with 21,417 people receiving treatment. 8,912 Louisiana residents suffered from gonorrhea, making the rate 198.4 out of 100,000. In Georgia, 8.1 out of 100,000 (or 795 reported cases) individuals must contend with syphilis.

  3. Louisiana (chlamydia), Alaska (gonorrhea), Mississippi (syphilis):

    Meanwhile, in Louisiana, healthcare providers reported treating 29,151 cases of chlamydia, and the rate stands at around 648.9 out of 100,000 as a result. Alaska saw its gonorrhea rate at 198.4 out of 100,000, meaning 1,273 citizens received such a diagnosis. Syphilis affects 228, or 7.7 out of 100,000, Mississippians.

  4. New Mexico (chlamydia), South Carolina (gonorrhea), Arkansas (syphilis):

    The chlamydia rate in New Mexico is 582.5 per 100,000 residents, and it impacted 11,706 people in 2010. That same year, 7,970 South Carolinians experienced gonorrhea, at a rate of 174.7 out of 100,000. Arkansas citizens saw their syphilis rate sit at 7.1 out of every 100,000 people, for a total of 205 reported cases.

  5. South Carolina (chlamydia), Alabama (gonorrhea), Illinois (syphilis):

    Chlamydia affects 26,525 residents of South Carolina, making the rate 582.5 out of 100,000. 168.5 out of 100,000 Alabama citizens (7,933 reported cases) received treatment for gonorrhea in 2010. In Illinois, the syphilis rate sits at 7 out of 100,000, and – as of 2010 – there exists about 908 reported cases.

  6. Alabama (chlamydia), Arkansas (gonorrhea), Florida (syphilis):

    Alabama’s 2010 chlamydia rate was 574.3 out of 100,000 people, a number stemming from a total of 27.041 reported cases. In Arkansas, 165 out of 100,000, or 4,769 individuals, had to deal with gonorrhea. 1,184 Floridians live with syphilis, making the rate about 6.4 out of every 100,000 individuals.

  7. Arkansas (chlamydia), Georgia (gonorrhea), Maryland (syphilis):

    In Arkansas, the 15,424 individuals with chlamydia meant a rate of 533.8 out of 100,000. Georgia’s gonorrhea rate sits at 161.3 out of 100,000, or 15,582 total reported cases. Syphilis affects 5.8 out of 100,000 Maryland residents, and 2010 saw about 328 individuals with the diagnosis.

  8. New York (chlamydia and syphilis), North Carolina (gonorrhea):

    New York ranks eighth in the United States for both chlamydia and syphilis, with 511.3 out of 100,000 (99,920 total cases) for the former and 5.6 out of 100,000 (1,098) for the latter. Gonorrhea affects 14,111 — or around 150.4 out of 100,000 – North Carolinians.

  9. Delaware (chlamydia), Ohio (gonorrhea), California (syphilis):

    4,464 Delaware residents experienced chlamydia in 2010, making the state’s rate hovering around 504.4 out of 100,000. In Ohio, 142.9 out of 100,000 citizens reported gonorrhea, meaning about 16,496 individual cases. Ninth place syphilis state California houses 2,065 instances, at a rate of 5.6 out of 100,000 citizens.

  10. Michigan (chlamydia and gonorrhea), Alabama (syphilis):

    Michigan saw its chlamydia rate as 496.3 out of 100,000, for a total of 49,478 reported cases. And, when it comes to gonorrhea, the 16,496 individuals with the diagnoses means a rate of 142.9 out of 100,000. Alabama came in at 5.5 out of 100,000 for syphilis.

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