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Columbia has one of the highest STD rates of any US city, study shows

State - 1/8/2020

Jan. 7--Columbia is one of the worst cities in the United States when it comes to the rate of sexually transmitted diseases that are reported.

Among the U.S. cities with the highest STD rates, Columbia was ranked No. 18 in a study shared by Innerbody.

The study was based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that was released in August of 2019.

It included information on the number of cases of HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia reported in 2018, according to the study.

Only cities with populations of at least 150,000 people were included in the study, and those statistics were determined by the CDC and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Columbia was far from the only southern city represented in the study.

"STD rates continue to run rampant in the South," the Innerbody report said. "Nearly half of the top 25 cities with the highest STD rates in the South."

South Carolina does not have the most overall STDs reported. That distinction that belongs to California with 318,214 total cases, according to the study.

But it is fourth overall in states with the highest STD rates, as the study showed 957 STD cases per 100,000 were reported in the study. Only Alaska, Mississippi and Louisiana reported higher STD rates, according to the study.

South Carolina has a population of 5,024,448 residents, and there were 48,095 STD cases reported in 2018, based on the CDC data.

Of those cases, a combined 5,870 reports of HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia were in Columbia, the study showed. For a city with a population of 414,576, the STD rate was 1,390 per 100,000, according to the study.

Chlamydia was the most commonly reported STD in Columbia, with data showing 4,040 cases in 2018.

The STD can cause damage to female reproductive organs and its symptoms include abnormal discharges and burning sensations when urinating, for men and women, according to the CDC.

Baltimore is the city with the highest rate of STDs, according to the study. Jackson, Mississippi; Philadelphia; San Francisco; and Montgomery, Alabama round out the top five.

Augusta, Georgia is sixth on the study's list, despite having a population of 201,554. But it, along with other small cities in the top 10 (No. 8 Killeen Texas, and No. 9 Shreveport, Louisiana), might have seen a boost in STDs because it's home to relatively large military base, according to the study.

Other South Carolina cities in the Top 100 include Greenville (No. 67), Charleston (No. 76) and Myrtle Beach (No. 92).

Innerbody said it conducted the study to raise STD prevention awareness and prevent the rapid spread of the diseases.

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