*Author’s note: This is part one of a multi part series on sexually transmitted diseases in response to recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control.

Recent data shows that Louisiana has a high rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Studies were conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track the rise of various STDs across the country. Health Testing Centers used this data to rank the states by the prevalence of various STDs. Louisiana ranked near the top of many of its lists.

According to the data Louisiana has the highest rate of syphilis in the country. Louisiana ranked at the top of the syphillis list having 61 syphilis cases per every 100,000 residents in 2017. While that number may seem small at first glance, it suggests that there are nearly 3,000 people in Louisiana struggling with syphilis. The national average rate for syphilis is 31.4 cases per 100,000 residents. 

Another STD that Louisiana residents are struggling with is chlamydia. The data from the CDC states that Louisiana has the second highest rate of chlamydia in the country with approximately 742.4 cases per every 100,000 residents. The national average chlamydia rate is 528.8 cases per 100,000 citizens. 

The data also showed that Louisiana has the third highest rate of gonorrhea cases. The CDC reports that Louisiana had 256.7 cases per 100,000 people. That is significantly higher than the national average of 171.9 cases per 100,000 people.

Although these statistics are alarming on a state level, it should be noted that the total rate of STDs  has seen a substantial increase nationwide since testing began in 1941. According to the CDC, in 1941 the number of STD cases was 679,028. In 2017, the reported number of cases reached nearly 2.4 million cases.

 

Louisiana ranked No. 1 with 61 Syphilis cases per 100,000 people, No. 2 with 742.4 Chlamydia cases per 100,000 people and No. 3 for Gonorrhea cases with 256.7 per 100,000 people.  These were above the national average of 31.4 cases, 528.8 cases and 171.9 cases for Syphilis, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, respectively.

 

Since testing began the data shows that Gonorrhea has seen the most dramatic increase at 18.6%, Syphilis cases have increased 15.3% and Chlamydia has increased by 6.9%.

In the report Health Testing Centers urged citizens to take STD prevention and treatment seriously. 

They stated the following in the report: “With STD rates setting record highs and showing no sign of slowing down, it is up to the American public to take precautions regarding their sexual activity. While some STDs and STIs are treatable, many go unnoticed due to a lack of symptoms. That's why getting tested for STDs is vital to the health and safety of you and your partners, even if precautions are taken and protection is used.”

Health Testing Centers is a company that offers a wide variety of health services including testing for various STDS. Their mission statement emphasizes “personalized preventive care.” To contact them call their toll-free hotline at 877-511-LABS (5227)