JACKSON, Miss. — According to the latest statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control, Mississippi along with much of the South has the highest rate of sexually transmitted diseases among Americans.
The study cites all fifty states through year-end of 2012 and was released in the first week of 2014.
“We tend to be at the higher end, compared to the northern states,” said Director of STD/HIV for the Mississippi Department of Health Dr. Nicholas Mosca. “Speculating, we have a lot of poverty and that means people are less likely to be regular users of our healthcare system, and specifically primary care.”
He explained that many people who have no insurance, or are under-insured, tend to use the emergency room and health department clinics more than a primary care doctor.
“Chlamydia is the number one disease in the state and most of the infections occur in women under the age of twenty-six,” said Dr. Mosca. “That’s followed by gonorrhea, HIV, and syphillis.”
The rate of black people having chlamydia was 15 times the rate of white people with the disease in 2012, according to the data.
“I think it’s always important for someone to get tested if they’re thinking about having sex with a partner that they’re not familiar with,” he said. “Sometimes partners aren’t always up-front honest.”
The rate of chlamydia and gonorrhea in Mississippi was higher than any other state in the country. On average 774 out of 100,000 Mississippians had chlamydia, with Alabama and Louisiana coming in second and third respectively.
For gonorrhea, about 231 out of 100,000 Mississippians had the disease with Louisiana and Alabama coming in second and third respectively.
To see the full report, click here.