Additional STD Test Statistics in Meridian, MS
456 cases of Chlamydia were found in Lauderdale County in 2015. The rate was 580.7 per 100,000 population. This was the lowest rate that the county has experienced since 2011. From 2011 to 2015, the Chlamydia rate decreased by 11%. The county rate was very similar to overall rate in Georgia, which was 580.6 per 100,000 population in 2015.
In 2015, Lauderdale County reported a total of 160 cases of Gonorrhea at a rate of 203.8 per 100,000 population. In comparison, the overall Georgia rate was 193 per 100,000 population in that year. From 2014 to 2015, the county rate decreased by 31.4%. In Georgia, the highest rates were found in Holmes and Forrest counties.
The Primary and Secondary Syphilis rate in Lauderdale County was more than double the statewide rate in 2015. Although only a total of 15 cases were reported in the county, the rate was 19.1 per 100,000 population. The rate is much higher than in other areas of the state. The rate has risen significantly over the past few years. Between 2014 and 2015, the Syphilis rate in Lauderdale County increased by 203%.
17 newly diagnosed cases of HIV were reported in Lauderdale County in 2015. The HIV rate was 21.6 per 100,000 population. In comparison, the overall Georgia rate was 17 per 100,000 population. The county rate spiked in 2015. Between 2014 and 2015, the HIV rate increased by 116%.
STD Testing and Sexual Health Education in Meridian, MS
Mississippi sets some of the lowest standards for sexual education in the United States. Only HIV education is required to be taught in public schools. There are no standards that require information to be medically accurate or age appropriate. In addition, local school can only teach contraception or STIs with permission from the State Department of Education.
Public schools in Meridian belong to the Meridian Public School District. These public schools include Meridian High School, Kate Griffin Junior High School, Northwest Junior High School, Carver Middle School, Magnolia Middle School and Northwest Middle School.
According to the school board, the district “shall utilize an age-appropriate, evidence-based, medically accurate, Abstinence-Plus curriculum.” In Meridian schools, abortion cannot be discussed as a means to prevent the birth of a baby and instruction on the use of condoms is also prohibited.
Abstinence-plus education typically includes information about contraception and condoms, while emphasizing the importance of abstinence. Studies have shown that abstinence-plus education is more effective than abstinence-only education. However, it is clear that Meridian’s prohibition on discussing condoms limits the effectiveness of the program.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Demographics in Meridian, MS
In 2016, Meridian had a population of about 40,000 people. The most recent census found that a majority of the population was African American. 61.55% of the population African American and 35.71% was White. These demographic statistics have an impact on the spread of STDs and HIV in the Meridian area.
Women in Mississippi were disproportionately affected by the spread of Chlamydia. In 2015, there were a total of 12,336 female cases in the state, compared to 5,019 male cases. 71% of the Mississippi’s Chlamydia cases were reported among females. The most cases were reported among individuals in the 15-19 and 20-24 age brackets. African Americans had the most cases of Chlamydia among all ethnic groups.
Gonorrhea cases were split almost evenly between men and women in Georgia, although there were slightly more cases among females. There were a total of 3,131 females cases and 2,638 male cases. The highest number of cases was found among individuals aged 20 to 24 years old. This reflects nationwide trends showing higher incidence among teens and young adults.
Males in Mississippi had significantly more cases of Primary and Secondary Syphilis. There were 187 male cases and only 32 female cases in 2015. The CDC similarly reports that U.S. males, especially gay and bisexual men, are disproportionately affected by Syphilis. African American men and women had the most overall cases.
78% of newly diagnosed HIV cases in Mississippi were reported among males in 2015. Across the country, HIV predominantly affects males. African American males showed the highest rates. In fact, 80% of all male cases in Mississippi were reported among African Americans.
STI Testing Resources in Meridian, MS
For STI testing resources, consider the following public and private clinics. All of these facilities provide safe, confidential and reliable testing for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis and HIV.
The Lauderdale County Health Department is located at 5224 Valley Street in Meridian. Testing services are available for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis and HIV. HPV and Hepatitis vaccines are also offered. According to the clinic, some medical services may require an appointment, and walk-ins are accepted on a limited basis.
The nearest Planned Parenthood clinic is located in Hattiesburg, about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Meridian. The Hattiesburg Health Center offers comprehensive services for STD testing, treatment and counseling. Clinical services include the following: Chlamydia Test, Conventional HIV Blood Test, Gonorrhea Test, Hepatitis B Vaccine, Herpes Test, HPV Vaccine and Syphilis Test. Planned Parenthood may also provide options for uninsured patients.
Greater Meridian Health Clinic Incorporated is a non-profit, federally qualified health clinic that provides medical care to underserved populations in the Meridian area. Hepatitis B Vaccine, Chlamydia Test, Conventional HIV Blood Test, HPV Vaccine, Rapid HIV Blood Test, Syphilis Test, Gonorrhea Test, Herpes Test, Hepatitis A Vaccine, Hepatitis B Test and Hepatitis C Test are among the treatment and testing services offered. The clinic is located at 2701 Davis Street in Meridian.
Immediate Care Family Clinic is one urgent care facility in the Meridian area that offers STD testing and treatment services. The clinic is located is 1710 14th Street and accepts walk-in patients.
Better Sexual Health in Meridian, MS
In 2015, Mississippi had the third highest Gonorrhea rate in the United States. Only North Carolina and Louisiana had higher rates that year. The Chlamydia rate was also among the highest in the county.
These statistics demonstrate why individuals in the Meridian area should get tested regularly for STDs. Testing for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis and HIV can be found at health clinics throughout Lauderdale County. Consulting these services can be improve your sexual health.