Do you know someone with a sexually transmitted disease? Although they may not readily admit it, chances are the answer to that question is ‘yes.’
A website dedicated to cataloging academic content on the Internet, has used data from the Centers for Disease Control to map the state-by-state rate of sexually transmitted diseases reports — and Tennessee ranks 11th in the nation in reported cases of STDs, with 60 cases per 1,000 people, according to site data.
That means 6 out of every 100 people living in Tennessee have some type of STD. Break that rate down further, and it reveals 37,568 people in Davidson County are living with a sexually transmitted disease.
When compared to other states in the Southeast — the site uses a map colored with four shades of red to denote concentration of reported STD cases by state — Tennessee fares relatively well. States with rates besting Tennessee’s 60 include: Arkansas (50), Florida (43), Kentucky (35), North Carolina (58), Virginia (46) and West Virginia (25).
The only states in the nation with higher rates: Alabama (72), Alaska (69), Delaware (63), Georgia (66), Illinois (65), Louisiana (82), Michigan (61), Mississippi (97), Ohio (61), South Carolina (78).
The lowest reported rate of sexually transmitted diseases in the nation is in The Granite State — New Hampshire (16).
More than 65 million people are living in the United States with an incurable sexually transmitted disease, according to CDC data, and an additional 15 million people become infected with one or more STDs each year.
Although these facts are not broken down by state, onlineschools.org said that one in every five people, and one out of every four high school girls, in the United States has an STD. Also, 64 percent of new cases are in females, they said.
While the number of cases of most STDs — genital warts, gonorrhea, herpes and syphilis — have remained relatively level since 1996, when the data used for this report started, the rate of Chlamydia has doubled from 200 cases per 10,000 people to more than 400 cases reported in 2008.
According to the CDC, Chlamydia is the most frequently reported STD in the United States. It is often referred to as a “silent” disease because symptoms are usually mild or absent, but complications that cause irreversible damage, including infertility, can occur "silently" before a woman ever recognizes a problem.