AZ STDs: A look at the data

AZ STDs: A look at the data

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Reported cases of Sexually Transmitted Diseases continue to rise in the state of Arizona.

It's the third consecutive year for the increase in chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, according to a release from Arizona Family Health Partnership.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control shows Arizona, compared to the rest of the nation, ranks 20th for most gonorrhea infections and 16th for chlamydia.

The rankings for syphilis are broken down to primary and secondary cases or congenital, which means it is passed from a pregnant mother to their babies.

For Arizona, the state is 9th in primary and secondary cases and 7th for congenital ones.

Posters can be seen around Pima County warning people about the symptoms of syphilis and the need to be tested. Clinical Services Manager Richard May said a specific poster may target an at-risk demographic highlighted by the CDC, but the department's overall outreach effort makes sure to include all people who are sexually active.

"We are sexually active beings," he said. "It's more important to be focused on our health and to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves and our partners and to let go of those labels. And focus on the fact that health has to be the primary factor."

Narrow those numbers down to the county level and you can see how Pima County plays a role in the state ranking.

The 5,819 cases of chlamydia in Pima County are much lower than the 22,134 in Maricopa County. However, Pima County's cases are at a higher rate, according to the CDC data.

Like chlamydia, the 7,701 gonorrhea cases for Maricopa County have it ranked 4th nationwide. Pima County doesn't even register in the top 70 counties.

It's the same rank for Maricopa when it comes to its 542 reported cases of syphilis. Pima County is at 51st in the nation with 108 cases.

An increase in reported cases doesn't necessarily mean an increase, or spread, of an STD, according to May. He said people feeling comfortable enough to report it and seek treatment is a positive step.

"We want to encourage people to take care of themselves and the only way we can do that is if we start talking openly about it and letting people know that there's no shame in wanting to be healthy," said May.

Two clinics operated by the Pima County Health Department provide STD testing and treatment. They are located at:

  • 1493 W Commerce Ct
  • 3550 N First Ave

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