The St. Louis region ranks among the top of the nation in rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia, with about 15,000 and 5,250 cases respectfully. Nestled in northern St. Louis County, Missouri, within Greater St. Louis.
Florissant is the 13th-largest city in Missouri with a population of over 51,000. As such, Florissant is significantly affected by these rates. These rates continue to climb annually. Even more alarming, reports of HIV, hepatitis, and syphilis are rapidly rising, as well.
People under 25 account for nearly a third of new STD cases in the St. Louis region. Public health officials report that teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19 are particularly at risk.
“This is a public health epidemic that we have to address. Leaving it unchecked means rates of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV will continue to climb.” – Katie L. Plax, MD, medical director for SPOT (Supporting Positive Opportunities with Teens)
In 2015, 267 of every 100,000 people were living with HIV in St. Louis County.
In the entire state of Missouri, there are approximately 11,887 people living with HIV. There were 511 new HIV diagnosis in 2016, with 170 deaths of people with diagnosed HIV in 2015.
Along with St. Louis City, and St. Louis County health departments, Florissant is diligently working on efforts to abate these rising rates. Programs include free STD testing, condom giveaway campaigns, and educational literature and classes.
However, these services are not always convenient for residents due to location, long wait times, inconvenient hours, and inconsistent availability.