The STD Surveillance Report released a nationwide study ranking states in various categories related to STD’s — West Virginia is the lowest populated state with people living with an STD.
Between chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis ratings, West Virginia consistently ranks in the lowest categories while Maryland is almost in the top 10.
West Virginia is ranked as the safest state with only 365,000 people living with an STD virus. To give us the inside scoop, Morgan County’s Health Department thinks that their safe state is due to people caring.
“I think education is our most powerful tool in public health and a lot of other entities,” said Berkeley and Morgan County Nurse Director Angela Gray. “So, when we’re seeing clients, we provide them with a lot of education. You’d be surprised how many people really don’t know sexually transmitted, infections are passed. So, we give that education at that time which hopefully helps reduce risk.”
On the other hand, Maryland ranked high overall throughout the categories, topping out at #11 for individuals living with syphilis. Washington County Health Department’s Information Officer Rod Macrae believes Maryland’s problem might be due to lack of education.
“It’s a question of education, it’s a question on the awareness on the part of people,” said Macrae. “I think it’s important that people remain aware, and protect themselves as best as they can. But, beyond that it’s a societal problem.”
It seems that the best piece of advice is to never have unprotected sex and to be aware if your partner has an STD.
“We do educate about abstinence, but then we also educate on ways to protect yourself,” said Gray. “So you know condoms, even if you’re on birth control methods other than condoms, it doesn’t protect you from STD’s.
Pennsylvania and Virginia were ranked in the middle as #39 and #25 statewide. In order to prevent any states from increasing, it seems like education paired with prevention is the key.
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