CDC reported that Louisiana had the highest rates of syphilis and gonorrhea in the United States in 2011. Louisiana ranked third for cases of chlamydia. CDC figures out disease rates based on the number of actual cases reported in 2011.
The 2011 gonorrhea rate in Louisiana was almost twice as high as the national average, and the rates of primary and secondary syphilis were more than double the national average. Men who have sex with men account for about 70 percent of all syphilis infections. Men and women age 15 to 24 have the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea. The complete report, “Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2011,” was published by CDC in December 2012 at URL: http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats11/default.htm.
Effective treatments are available for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and primary and secondary syphilis. People with syphilis are more likely to be infected with HIV, and untreated syphilis can lead to paralysis, dementia, and death. Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea increase the risk of infertility in women.
T.J. Rogers, spokesperson for the NO/AIDS Task Force, said the Task Force provides free screening for HIV and other STDs every Wednesday, from noon to 7:30 p.m., at 507 Frenchmen St. People who would like to be tested may make an appointment at URL: www.noaidstaskforce.org/nogmwp. The NO/AIDS Task Force also provides referrals for treatment.