For the past decade, Georgia has consistently been among the highest ranking states when it comes to the number of sexually transmitted disease cases. This trend has been true for many states in the southeast region. Recent numbers from the Georgia Department of Public Health list the state as having high rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.
- Seventh in the country for chlamydia
- Sixth in the country for gonorrhea
- Third in the country for syphilis
Georgia also has a high number of people diagnosed with HIV as well as HIV related deaths. There are currently an estimated 33,000 people living with HIV in the state. That is considerably higher than most other states. Only California, New York and Texas have higher numbers. The same is true for HIV related deaths. Georgia is also in the top four in that category.
Early detection is critical to the treatment of many STDs. Gonorrhea, for instance, can be cured with the right medicine. If untreated, gonorrhea can cause serious long-term health problems. Chlamydia, which often doesn’t have any symptoms, can make it difficult for woman to get pregnant if left untreated. Syphilis is easy to cure in its early stages as well.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea could cause infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease in women if left untreated. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are nearly 3 million cases of chlamydia and more than 800,000 cases of gonorrhea each year in the United States. The CDC recommends annual screening of all sexually active women younger than 25 years.
The Hope Center offers free STD testing and results. If you think you may have an STD, or have been experiencing pain or discomfort, we encourage you to get tested. It’s a confidential and easy process that will help you to answer any questions you may have.
The best way to avoid contracting a STD is through abstinence. If you are sexually active, however, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of getting a STD.
- Mutual monogamy: This means being sexually active with only one partner.
- Reduced number of partners: The less people you are sexually active with, the less likely you will be to get infected. It’s still important for you and your partner(s) to get tested and share the results with each other.
- Condoms: The use of condoms will reduce the chances of transmission of STDs.
If you are sexually active, it’s important that you get tested for STDs on a regular basis. As you can see, early detection is critical when it comes to serious health problems as a result of a STD. Contact your healthcare provider for an STD test.