The rising number of Sexually Transmitted Diseases are on the rise in South Carolina according to a new study.
“We’ve seen an increase in people coming in to be tested,” said Jose Giocamea, AID Upstate Director of Community Relations.
Empty testing rooms at AID Upstate, on 13 S. Calhoun St. in Greenville, aren’t very common.
Giocamea says that’s because in recent months the nonprofit has administered a lot more testing kits.
“When someone does come to our facility we do HIV [test] first and then based on their risk assessments we will do STD and STI screening,” he told 7News.
Still, Giocamea was shocked to learn South Carolina’s STD cases are on the rise.
“For us to be in the top 3 nationwide is a little bit alarming!” Giocamea said.
Health Testing Centers reviewed the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent STD report revealing the number of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis cases in South Carolina are the third highest in the country.
The state ranks 5th for chlamydia cases and 4th for gonorrhea cases. The study found both infections are especially high among women.
South Carolina didn’t place among the top for syphilis cases, but the infection is not very common according to the study.
State Department of Health and Environmental Control Dr. Tracy Murphy tells 7News it’s unclear why there’s an increase but he does have some ideas.
“It could be some differences in testing and screening that’s done now, but we are also pretty sure there’s a social component to that too,” he said.
Murphy says if a clear pattern could be pinpointed, it would help physicians tackle the problem. Still, the best way to stop the trend is advocating prevention methods, which according to Health Testing Center most people aren’t utilizing.
“In general anybody who is sexually active should talk to their providers about testing,” Murphy added.
The CDC suggests practicing abstinence, using condoms, having few partners and getting HPV vaccines to prevent getting an STD.
According to the CDC, there are more than 2.3 million reported cases of STD’s nationwide.
If you’re interested in getting tested, even if you don’t have insurance, click here.
To read the full Health Testing Centers study click here.