SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) — A new study from ValuePenguin by LendingTree analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and showed that of all the states around the nation, Utah saw the second-highest jump in STD rates since 2000.
Reports specify that Utah experienced a 291% increase in cases per 100,000 residents — second only to North Dakota, which saw a 369% jump in cases.
There is no clear evidence as to why these numbers were so high over the last two decades, but numerous factors could have contributed including reduced education and reduced safe sex methods among high school students between 2013 and 2017.
According to comments in the article by the Utah Department of Health, changes in sexual and testing behaviors could be possible culprits for seeing such high rates here in our state.
The largest portion of reported STD cases around the country is from chlamydia, which the article attributes to fewer screenings.
In total, this study showed that there were 31 states with increases of 100% or more in reported cases. The states that reported the smallest increase during this period were Delaware with 18% and 39% in the District of Columbia.
These findings are largely credited to proactive efforts by these states to provide their residents with ample testing and preventative measures.
Experts agree that, if you’re sexually active, having regular STD testing is crucial to protect your health and prevent the spread.
It’s important to note that STD tests are usually considered preventative care, which most insurance companies are legally required to cover. For more information and to check whether your insurance offers free STD testing without cost-sharing requirements, the CDC has resources online.