Florida ranks fourth for total reported STD cases nationwide, study shows

The Sunshine State ranked seventh in highest STD rates, according to Innerbody Research

Florida ranked fourth in the country for total reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases in a June study released by Innerbody Research, an organization providing health information and research.

The report, which uses data from the Center for Disease Control to rank states, shows Florida had a total number of 259,033 cases — beaten out only by New York, Texas and California.

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In terms of the highest rates of STDS, Florida ranked a bit lower at No. 7 with 1,355 cases per 100,000 people, below South Carolina, Maryland, New York, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The report breaks down those figures into individual diseases, which shows Florida ranks:

  • No. 2 for total reported syphilis cases (3,674)
  • No. 3 for reported chlamydia cases (100,030)
  • No. 4 for reported gonorrhea cases (40,788)
  • No. 3 for reported cases of HIV (114,541)

The research group reported earlier this year that Jacksonville, Tallahassee and Miami placed with the top 25 U.S. cities for highest STD rates.

Below those three cities, Gainesville, Pensacola and Orlando placed within the top 50 in the study, and Tampa and Palm Beach placed within the top 100.

According to the study, the COVID-19 pandemic may have increased transmission for STDs, though reported numbers initially fell in 2020 due to quarantine policies, social distancing and reduced screening.

“With more people moving to Florida during the pandemic, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the state’s STD rates rise over the course of the next year,” said Eric Rodriguez, CEO and co-founder of Innerbody Research.

In addition, the group says southern states suffer from some of the worst infection rates for STDs, especially so for chlamydia and gonorrhea.

“The south has more people living in poverty and in rural areas, which may make it harder for them to get tested and treated for STDs,” said Ronald Gray, a professor at John Hopkins’ Department of Epidemiology.

The CDC suggested a number of different methods to prevent contracting STDs, including abstinence, vaccines, prophylactics such as condoms, reducing the number of sexual partners and remaining monogamous.

“At Innerbody Research, we strongly advise following the CDC’s recommendation of getting tested every three-to-six months,” Rodriguez said. “It’s always a good rule of thumb to get tested before you start a sexual relationship with a new partner, as well.”

For more information, you can find Innerbody Research’s study for state rankings here and city rankings here.

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About the Author:

Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.