According the CDC, South Dakota ranks at 42nd among all 50 states for positive HIV infections, but with a whopping 60% of teenagers having unprotected sex in 2013, that number is expected to rise. Chlamydia and gonorrhea also have average-than-higher numbers, with the following statistics for 2013:
- Chlamydial infections: 16th among 50 states (471.2 per 100,000 persons)
- Gonorrheal infections: 26th among 50 states (94.1 per 100,000 persons)
- Women reported at 2.5 times greater than men (women: 673 cases per 100,000; men: 271.1 cases per 100,000)
Hepatitis A cases increased by 20% in 2013, however, the Federal government offers no funds for the prevention and treatment of any form of hepatitis. In fact, South Dakota accepts the lowest amount of funds from the CDC.
Historically, the state has witnessed a rise in STD’s. Reported cases of syphilis in 2005 were 1; it rose to 76 in 2014. Hepatitis B rose from 34 to 58 in the same time frame. Gonorrhea moved from 356 to 880, and Chlamydia rose from 2702 to 4129. With numbers as alarming as these, it’s surprising that South Dakota doesn’t receive more money from the CDC for STD prevention. According to the South Dakota Department of Health website, every STD except syphilis increased by over 20% between 2011 and 2015. There must be no reason to not get tested in this state, as statistics prove that risks are higher here.
The good news is that South Dakota has increased sexual education in public schools. According to the CDC the state’s efforts to increase education among high school students is starting to show promising results.
While the state is slow in LGBT and condom use education, the overall statistics for educating youth is positive. The state is recognizing the importance of teaching residents before adulthood, especially as 2013 reported a higher statistic of teenagers having sex without a condom.
The Department of Health for the state also provides an extensive educational webpage, listing the facts for each disease, recognizing them, how to treat, how to prevent, and how to get tested. Additionally, the site offers four specific links to find out more about programs related to STD’s, both national and statewide, including the National Coalition of STD Directors, Region 8 Infertility Prevention Project, American Social Health Association, and the Chlamydia Resource Exchange.
The state is responding to the growing number of reported STD’s with education for both students and adults. The statistics prove that this is a necessary move to encourage more people to get regular STD testing.
The population of South Dakota in 2015 was 858,469, according to the State Department of Health. Of this population, the white women who contract an STD do so mainly through heterosexual contact. Additionally, the past lack of education contributes to the alarming growth of STD’s in the state. People aren’t getting tested because the education hasn’t caught up to the population at this time. However, there is hope – as more people learn how to get tested, where to get tested, and how to recognize the signs, the statistics should begin to lower.
Statistics for HIV are already beginning to decline, with 35 cases reported in 2013, and 28 cases reported in 2014. This means that people are starting to pay attention to sexual health, and seeking regular STD testing, thanks to an increase in information handed out by the state.
However, those who are not getting tested are still passing around STD’s in crowded cities, such as Sioux Falls, with a population of 164,676. Out of the nearly 3,000 chlamydia cases in the state last year, nearly 600 cases were in Sioux Falls. Within the 74 square miles that encompass this city, the large population leads to overcrowding. When this overpopulating combines with the past lack of education, less people get less STD testing.
While these are reasons why people might not be getting STD testing, they are reasons that the state is hoping to eradicate. Focused education in the secondary schools and increased education for adults will help the state witness a future STD reduction.
This state is trying to increase its instances of STD testing by helping residents realize how important it is to take care of their sexual health. When it comes to regular STD testing, the best method is to seek out the facilities that offer the fastest, most confidential testing possible. No one wants to wait to see the amazing sites around here, or go to any of the wonderful events held year-round. Everyone wants to hurry to get to the cave exploring, or experience any one of the roadside sites throughout the state. That’s why most people make one simple phone call that leads them to a fast afternoon in a lab that lets them keep going to see everything that South Dakota has to offer.