Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are on the rise in the U.S. and this list of the most sexually diseased states in America will give you an insight into the states that have the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases. The 2015 edition of STD surveillance report published by Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the rates of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia (most common STDs in the USA) are plummeting. There were 395,216 reported cases of gonorrhea in 2015 and the biggest problem (besides the huge numbers) is that the bacteria that causes gonorrhea is developing resistance to the antibiotic drugs used for treatment. Among other causes of this increase in transmission of STDs, public health officials also attribute this phenomenon to so-called Tinder effect (tinder effect refers to the rise of dating applications like Tinder). While the relationship between STDs and the rise of online dating apps is still unclear, there is a justified belief that these apps could contribute to rising STD rates. Next time when you swipe through Tinder, be aware of the possibility that you might end up with an STD. If you wondered if there are cities where people are less sexually active, the answer is yes and we bring you the list of the Least Sexually Active Cities in America. But we also bring you the list of cities you should stay away from – Most Sexually Diseased Cities in America.
Any sexually active person can get gonorrhea, syphilis or chlamydia through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex. Gonorrhea is caused by a bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae and it is a very common STD, especially among people aged 15-24. Gonorrhea can be transmitted from the mother to the baby during the delivery. If untreated, this infection can lead to serious health issues, including pelvic pain and infertility as well as increased risks of getting HIV. Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD in America. It is a bacterial infection caused by bacteria Clamydia Trachomatis and can cause serious health issues if left untreated. In females, chlamydia can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes which can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility as well as increased risks of ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside of the womb). It is important to mention that chlamydia often does not have visible symptoms and even in that case it can seriously damage the reproductive system.
Syphilis is less common than gonorrhea and chlamydia but is can be the most serious one if left untreated. Syphilis is divided into stages: primary, secondary, latent and tertiary. Primary stage is characterized by sores at the original site of infection (usually around genitals), secondary syphilis includes skin rash, fever and swollen lymph nodes while latent syphilis often does not have any symptoms. Tertiary syphilis is associated with severe medical problems such as damage to blood vessels, brain and nervous system and even death. In order to prevent further complications it is important to get tested and properly treat syphilis (as well as other STDs). However in order to prevent getting an STD in the first place it is important to know how to protect yourself. The first recommendation is abstinence from sex (no one will probably listen to this one) but there are more ways to avoid STDs without living in celibate. Reducing the number of sexual partners also decreases your risk of getting an STD and the best option is to be in a monogamous relationship. With both partners being faithful, risks of getting an STD are minimal. If none of these recommendations fit your lifestyle, then make sure that you use a condom (properly) every time you have sex. This reduces the risk of getting STDs such as syphilis, chlamydia or gonorrhea but it does not fully protect you from getting HPV.
The main source of information for compiling this list of 10 most sexually diseased states in America is CDC’s report on prevalence of STDs in the U.S. I’ve focused on reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis per state and singled out those with the largest number. Then I summed the numbers for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis and those with higher rates are ranked higher on the list. States are ranked according to the number of reported STDs, from lowest to highest. It is important to mention that rates for each STD are expresses in reported cases per 100,000 people. I’ve also added HIV infection rate per state but it does not affect overall ranking since HIV can be transmitted in other ways besides sexual intercourse with infected person. However, since it is a sexually transmitted disease with very serious consequences it is worth knowing rates of HIV infections.
Primary and secondary syphilis: 5,8
Although Alabama is at the bottom of our list of most sexually diseased states you might want to avoid, rates of sexually transmitted diseases should not be ignored. Alabama is ranked 9th among 50 states in chlamydial and gonorrheal infections. It is ranked 19th when it comes to rates of primary and secondary syphilis and 22nd in the number of HIV diagnosis (481 persons in 2015).
Primary and secondary syphilis: 4,5
We are continuing our list of most sexually diseased states in America with Arkansas that is ranked 8th among 50 states in chlamydial infections and 6th in gonorrheal infections. Despite the fact that Arkansas is ranked 28th in rates of primary and secondary syphilis, it has relatively high number of congenital syphilis with 50 recorded cases from 2011 through 2015. It is ranked 30th among 50 states when it comes to HIV infections with 258 adults diagnosed in 2015.
Primary and secondary syphilis: 5,4
At number eight on our list of most sexually diseased states in America we have Oklahoma that is ranked 5th among 50 states in gonorrheal and 10th in chlamydial infections. This state ranks 21st in rates of primary and secondary syphilis (along with 15 cases of congenital syphilis) and 27th in HIV infections with 319 persons diagnosed with HIV in 2015. It is also important to know that 1 out of 7 people with the HIV infection in the USA do not know that they are infected. If we take this into consideration (as well as the fact that some STDs do not always have visible symptoms) it means that these numbers (which are already high) might be even higher.
Primary and secondary syphilis: 14,0
Georgia is ranked 6th in chlamydial and 7th in gonorrheal infections among 50 states. However, primary and secondary syphilis rates are very high, making Georgia 2nd among 50 states. There were 84 cases of congenital syphilis recorded from 2011 through 2015. Besides high syphilis rates, rates of HIV are very high in this state with 2,381 persons diagnosed in 2015. This skyrocketing data places Georgia 2nd among 50 states when it comes to rates of HIV diagnoses.
6. New Mexico
Primary and secondary syphilis: 5,7
New Mexico is ranked 4th among 50 states in chlamydial infections and 22nd in gonorrheal infections. It ranks as 20th among 50 states in rates of primary and secondary syphilis. It is estimated that in 2015, 135 persons were diagnosed with HIV in New Mexico. On our list of most sexually diseased states in America it ranks 6th.
5. South Carolina
Primary and secondary syphilis: 6,1
South Carolina ranks 18th in rates of primary and secondary syphilis with 16 cases of congenital syphilis recorded from 2011 through 2015. It is ranked 7th among 50 states in chlamydial infections and ranks very high (4th place) in gonorrheal infections. It is ranked 17th when it comes to the rate of HIV diagnosis in 2015. In this year, 694 persons in South Carolina were diagnosed with HIV.
Primary and secondary syphilis: 7,3
Mississippi ranks 8th in rates of primary and secondary syphilis, 5th in chlamydial infections and 3rd in gonorrheal infections. As in the majority of other states on this list of the most sexually diseased states in America, rates of chlamydia are higher in women than those in men. There were only seven cases of congenital syphilis and number of persons with HIV is 509, ranking Mississippi 20th out of 50 states.
3. North Carolina
Primary and secondary syphilis: 12,0
Just as on our overall list of most sexually diseased states in America, North Carolina is ranked 3rd among 50 states in chlamydial infections while it is ranked 2nd in gonorrheal infections. North Carolina ranks 4th among 50 states when it comes to rates of primary and secondary syphilis. Despite ranking very high in rates of primary and secondary syphilis, there were only 27 cases of congenital syphilis recorded from 2011 and 2015. In 2015, 1,335 persons were diagnosed with HIV in North Carolina, making it 8th state among 50 states.
Primary and secondary syphilis: 1,1
Alaska is not far behind our winner on this list. It ranks as number one in all 50 states when it comes to rates of chlamydial infections and 8th in gonorrheal infections. Reported rates of chlamydia are 2.2% higher in women than men; 1083,5 cases per 100,000 in women compared to “only” 483,1 per 100,000 in men. It is interesting that despite high rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea, Alaska has a very low rate of primary and secondary syphilis and it is ranked as 49th state out of 50. There were 24 people diagnosed with HIV in Alaska (in 2015) ranking Alaska 44th among 50 states when it comes to rates of HIV diagnosis.
Primary and secondary syphilis: 15,0
Louisiana is, according to collected data, the most sexually diseased state in America. Louisiana ranks as number one in all 50 states when it comes to rates of primary and secondary syphilis. There were also 190 cases of congenital syphilis recorded from 2011 to 2015 which is a very high number. Among 50 states it is ranked 2nd in chlamydial infections and 2nd as well in gonorrheal infections. In addition, there were around 1,129 people diagnosed with HIV in Louisiana (ranked 11th among the 50 states). I believe, we definitely have a winner when it comes to 10 most sexually diseased states in America.