Where You Live Could Put You At Higher Risk For STIs

We're just days away from Valentine's Day, and whether you're the lovey-dovey "love is in the air" sort or just looking for a Valentine's adventure, there's something you need to know about STI risk. According to recent research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States is at a record high for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis diagnoses — and your risk shoots up if you live in certain states.

The data crunchers at backgroundchecks.org have ranked each state based on the rate of STIs reported per 100,000 residents. They used data from the CDC as well as data from state and county health agencies and social media surveys to estimate risk per state for both gonorrhea and chlamydia.
Photo: Courtesy of backgroundchecks.org
Here are the 10 states with the lowest incidence of STIs:

1. New Jersey
2. Connecticut
3. Massachusetts
4. Wyoming
5. Idaho
6. Utah
7. Vermont
8. Maine
9. West Virginia
10. New Hampshire

And the 10 states with the highest incidence:

1. Alaska
2. Louisiana
3. North Carolina
4. Mississippi
5. New Mexico
6. South Carolina
7. Georgia
8. Oklahoma
9. Arkansas
10. Alabama

Although the folks at backgroundchecks.org want you to take a look at this map before "hormones make you do something stupid," we want to remind you that STI diagnosis isn't always the result of bad decisions. Having an STI is not shameful, it's not embarrassing, and it's not the end of your life — or even your sex life.

We need to stop treating STI diagnosis as shameful because, honestly, anyone could get an STI — even you. And although risk may be lower in certain states as compared to others, nowhere is completely risk-free. So people living in New Jersey need to be just as vigilant about their sexual health and safety as those living in Alaska.
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