STD Rates On the Rise in Mississippi - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

STD Rates On the Rise in Mississippi

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According to the aids service coalition Mississippi is ranked number one in gonorrhea cases, number two in Chlamydia and third in syphilis cases.

20 million new cases of STD's are transmitted each year in the United States.

 

Mississippi is ranked 6th in the U.S. for highest rate of new HIV infections - 75 percent of those cases are men.

Forrest County ranks third in Mississippi for new infections.

"You're going to bed with everybody that your partner has gone to bed with."

 

That's why Kathy Garner, Executive Director of the Aids Services Coalition in Hattiesburg says it's important to get tested for HIV and STDs.

 

 

"If you don't treat those diseases they can get worse."

 

Like Chlamydia... according to the Mississippi department of health, 15 to 24 year olds make up 15 percent of Mississippi's population but they represent 76 percent of Chlamydia cases.

 

"Chlamydia, if it goes unchecked can render a woman sterile."

 

So what can Mississippians do to reverse the growing number of STDs, Garner says education.

 

"The absolutely best place that it can happen is in the home."

 

As a mother of a 13 year old, Garner says it may be embarrassing for parents to have "the talk" with their teens but its necessary.

 

"The only way that children will be healthy is if we take care of them and talk to them."

 

    Garner suggests if you think you may have a STD, confidential testing is available...at health clinics in every county.

 

"Getting a STD treated as soon as possible, it may be embarrassing but it is critical."

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