According to the state website, the number of reported STD cases in 2015 was 29.459. This is out of a population of 5,778,708. The overall state statistics break down as follows:
- Male cases: 10,327
- Female cases: 19,110
- White: 12,213
- African American: 9,764
- American Indian: 390
- Asian/Pacific Islander: 384
- Other: 723
- Unknown Race: 5,985
- 0-4: 11
- 5-9: 4
- 10-14: 238
- 15-19: 7,994
- 20-24: 11,253
- 25-29: 5,232
- 30-34: 2,342
- 35-39: 1,114
- 40-44: 570
- 45-49: 302
- 50+: 389
It must be noted that statistics reflect children born with HIV infections, or infections spread to the fetus through the mother’s infection. Most cases are found in the Southeastern region of the state, which includes heavily populated cities, such as Milwaukee.
Luckily, this rate has not changed drastically over the state’s history. In 2011, the STD positive rate was a mere 29,214, which means it has neither declined nor increased exponentially through the years. The State of Wisconsin has an STD issue, but it is a stagnating issue, not getting worse, but not getting better, either.
As with other states, the incidence of chlamydia tops the charts, with 7,000 women between the ages of 20-24 testing positive for this disease in 2013. Gonorrhea-positive tests were under 2,000 for the same age group for the same year, while Hepatitis C rates went up by 600% statewide in 2013. 263 adults in the state tested positive for HIV in 2013, placing the state at number 31 among all 50 states for HIV prevalence.
Government-led programs provide citizens with a number of different resources for education, including nine different links on the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website. The residents also have access to the basics of the highest reported diseases online, including chlamydia and gonorrhea symptoms and treatment options.
The education doesn’t stay with the adults; according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the CDC helps fund the HIV/STD & Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (Human Growth and Development). This program, implemented in schools, targets youngsters in health classes, to raise early awareness and help students recognize the signs of disease. Specifically, schools implement the “My Sexual Health, My Future” program, which includes information on contraception, personal safety, and other important factors in sexual safety. Each skills area aligns with the state’s Health Education guidelines, as well as the National Sexuality Education Standards.
This program also collects data across the state, testing the knowledge in schools, and targeting areas where more education is necessary to keep more kids free of STD’s. Parents have access to the material being reviewed in the school through this program, which shares the curriculum on the state’s Health Department website.
Colleges in the state offer free STD education, some give out free condoms, while others conduct introductory classes on staying safe while in school. As a whole, the state has kept its STD statistics stagnant instead of watching them rise, through the implementation of educational programs for all age groups.
Instances of positive STD tests across the state vary by region. There are five regions in the state: Northeastern, Northern, Southeastern, Southern, and Western. Of these regions, the Northern region had the least reported cases of STD’s, with only 1,302 cases recorded in 2015. The Southeastern region, however, had a reported 16,645 cases reported in the same year; the Southeastern region holds the least counties of all five Wisconsin regions.
When 56% of a region’s population has a reported STD, with the second closest region having only 15.8% of reportable STD’s, the state begins to focus on the area. There is a higher concentrated population in this area, as Milwaukee is here, with nearly 600,000 residents according to the Census Bureau. In fact, out of the seven counties in this region, Milwaukee County holds 13,438 cases of reported STD’s for 2015.
Part of the issue is a lack of education, especially in the inner-city schools in the county. For instance, Milwaukee City Schools saw a graduation rate of only 58.2%, as compared to the statewide rate of 88.4%. This rate proves a lack of education overall, including education in sexual health. Depending on when the students drop out of high school, they may never reach the age to take a health education course, missing sexual education completely. This area of Wisconsin is also the most populated, which generates a higher chance of increased STD ratings. When a lack of education combines with a growing population, health issue statistics rise in response.
Better Sexual Health with STI Testing
Whether heading out for the big game, hiking through the picturesque back paths of the state, or spending a relaxing day in the culture of the big city, getting tested for STD’s in a confidential, fast manner is essential to everyone’s health. Be sure to share in everything this wonderful state has to offer while continuing to get regular STD testing with a simple phone call, staying healthy and remaining able to do whatever Wisconsin has to offer on a whim. Spend less than a half hour in the lab, then be out the door to enjoy the day in any region. Stay on the outside of the STD statistics in this state by getting tested regularly and staying educated to the risk factors for STD’s. Know the signs, and know how to get help. Stay safe, stay smart, and stay efficient by making that phone call today.