A new study using data from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and county health agencies and social media surveys, ranks Georgia among the top "most sexually diseased” states.
The report, created by BackgroundChecks.org and released just in time for Valentine’s Day, weighted the data from the CDC and agencies and factored in the surveys for the final ranking.
With a gonorrhea rate of 158.3 cases per 100,000 residents and a chlamydia rate of 570.8 per 100,000 people, Georgia came in at No. 7 of the 50 states.
The “most diseased” state, according to the report, is Alaska, with a rate of 151.1 and 768.3 per its 100,000 residents for gonorrhea and chlamydia respectively.
The “least diseased” according to the study was New Hampshire.
According to the 2016 CDC analysis, one in 51 Georgians is likely to be diagnosed with HIV over the course of their lifetime if current HIV diagnoses rates persist—the nation’s second-highest state for lifetime risk of HIV infection.
Nationwide, researchers found half of black gay men and a quarter of Latino gay men are projected to be diagnosed within their lifetime if current HIV diagnoses rates persist.
People living in the South — including Georgia — are also more liekly to be diagnosed with HIV over the course of their lifetime than other Americans.
In 2013, the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell area ranked fifth among metropolitan areas in the nation for HIV diagnoses.
Dr. Patrick Sullivan, an epidemiology professor at Emory University, called the South’s struggle with HIV “a public health emergency” in a previous AJC report.
Sullivan, like many other experts, cited poverty as a major factor, because the region is home to the nation’s largest number of people living in poverty.
At the same time, Sullivan said, people with HIV and AIDS are living longer than ever before because of better treatments.