According to a recent report from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia ranked among the top five states in America with the highest rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.
Nationally, more than 2 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were reported in the United States in 2016. It's the highest number ever.
“Together, we can make a difference, but it will take all of us – CDC, health departments, healthcare providers, community organizations, and individuals,” Gail Bowan, director of CDC’s STD prevention division, wrote in a news release.
According to Bowan, the 2016 STD Surveillance Report, released in late September, shows which groups are most vulnerable.
- Youth ages 15-24 still make up most reported cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea and are now experiencing increases in syphilis cases.
- Men who have sex with men, including gay or bisexual men, still face the highest rates of syphilis and HIV co-infection. Over the past five years, gonorrhea rates have increased as well.
- Pregnant women face some of the harshest outcomes from untreated STDs with the increase in congenital syphilis cases. Cases have risen to rates unseen since 1998.
Researchers used data from the U.S. Census, health departments and STD control programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, among others, for the analysis.
According to the 2016 report, Georgia had some of the highest rates of reported chlamydia, gonorrhea and primary and secondary syphilis cases in the country.
- National rank for chlamydia: 5
- Number of chlamydia cases: 62,776
- Rate of chlamydia cases per 100,000 people: 614.6
- National rank for gonorrhea: 3
- Number of gonorrhea cases: 20,553
- Rate of gonorrhea cases per 100,000 people: 201.2
- National rank for primary and secondary syphilis: 4
- Number of primary and secondary syphilis cases: 1,350
- Rate of primary and secondary syphilis cases per 100,000 people: 13.2
In 2015, Georgia was ranked sixth for chlamydia rates (570.8 per 100,000 people), seventh for gonorrhea rates (158.3 per 100,000) and second in the country for primary and secondary syphilis rates (14 per 100,000).
Here’s how the nation fared overall in 2016:
When should you get tested and for what? CDC recommendations:
Anyone between the ages 13 and 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
Anyone who is sexually active should talk to a healthcare provider about other STD testing.
The CDC recommends annual chlamydia screening for women 25 and under, as well as for older women at high risk.
Women at high risk (those with new or multiple sex partners) should also request annual gonorrhea tests and anyone who has never been tested for HIV should do so.
Pregnant women should request STD tests for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia and heptatis B early in their pregnancy.
Pregnant women younger than 25 or pregnant women with new or multiple sex partners should also request gonorrhea and chlamydia tests early on.
The CDC recommends sexually active men who have sex with other men should be tested for syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV at least once a year.
Men at high risk, such as men with multiple partners, should request testing every three to six months.