The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds Louisiana is ranked second in the country when it comes to the high rates of STDs for the third year in a row. Deputy Director for the Louisiana STD/HIV Program Chaquetta Johnson says chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are the sexually transmitted diseases measured. She credits this increase to a few factors.
“High rates of poverty in the state, we have issues with access to care in some of our high risk populations and also there is the issue of stigma with individuals are far as getting tested.”
2016 data from the CDC shows Louisiana’s chlamydia rate is 680 cases per 100,000 people. Johnson says they are looking at ways to increase screening and testing to lower this high number. But she says Louisiana does already do a great job at screening for these STDs.
“So what we’ve seen is that we’ve had an increased number of people who’ve been screened and tested through our efforts and in doing so we’re finding more disease.”
The CDC also reports Louisiana had the second highest rate of HIV in 2016. Johnson says they are aggressively tackling this epidemic. She says they have partnered with each office of public health and also with community and parish leaders to educate the public on these diseases.
“So we want to engage everyone in our efforts to reduce the risks and burden and STDs and HIV in Louisiana.”