The city comes in at 87 in a list of the top 100 sexually diseased cities in America. The report mapped the top 100 most sexually diseased cities using data reflecting numbers for syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia.
- The STD rate for Chlamydia is 948.3 double the national rate of 456.7.
- HIV infection is 437 per 100,000 over the national rate of 350.4 per 100,000 population.
- The Gonorrhea infection rate is 324.4 per 100,000 people, triple the national infection rate.
Local sexual health education focuses on young people who are at risk for unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. The state’s teen pregnancy rate is higher than the national average, and young minority women living in the state have disproportionately high birth rates. Men that have sex with men have the greatest risk for HIV, and the above charts show that African American women suffer at rates vastly disproportionate to population. Because the risk for negative sexual health outcomes is a reality, comprehensive sexuality education and access to contraception are more important than ever to the health of Georgia’s youth.
Federally funded abstinence-only programs, including the ones used in Georgia, cannot include information about the health benefits of contraception and condoms. The programs also must emphasize marriage before sex. Recent research on abstinence-only programs has found them ineffective, with no impact on reducing teen pregnancy, delaying sexual initiation, or reducing STDs.
Among VSU students, low use of contraceptives and infrequent health screenings play a large role in high STD rates. Technology is partly responsible, the rise of dating apps has lent to the STD problem, making quick hookups easier and more frequent. This is the perfect environment for the transmission of disease, because the sex is often unprotected.
All of these numbers can be alarming for good reason, but students should be aware that some of the diseases are preventable with the use of contraceptives, and general sex education. There are certain practices that students can adopt to help protect themselves against STIs such as frequent testing and monogamous dating.
The city creates a small town atmosphere with the Friday Night Lights each fall, Valdosta High School is one of top winning football programs in the US. But with the mix of the young locals and the VSU population you need to be aware of the increase in sexually transmitted diseases. If you’ve been avoiding taking care of your sexual health due to long lines, there is a choice that lets you make an appointment for same day STD testing. You can call to schedule confidential STD testing.