Sexually transmitted infections hit record high in Mid-South – FOX13 News Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – There is another epidemic slipping into the shadows as COVID-19 takes center stage, sexually transmitted infections. For the sixth year in a row, sexually transmitted infections have reached an all-time high nationwide.
Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi ranked in the top 15 for new cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.
A local nonprofit is working to educate people and curb this alarming trend.
âIt’s always a struggle because there is so much stigma,â said Tijuana Miller of South Memphis Alliance.
In honor of Sexual Health Awareness Month, South Memphis Alliance, a local nonprofit, is working to break the stigma surrounding sexually transmitted infections or STIs.
âThere are a lot of religious fanatics who believe these are things we don’t talk about, and because these are things we don’t talk about, it makes less people know about the information available,â Miller said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, STIs have reached an all-time high for the sixth year in a row.
âSpreading knowledge, information and making sure it’s available, because that’s the most important thing. It’s not readily available, âMiller said.
Newly released 2019 STI data revealed that black people are disproportionately affected by STI.
Blacks are five to eight times more likely than whites to contract an STI.
Miller believes this is in part due to a lack of access to affordable health care.
âBlacks live in many of our disadvantaged neighborhoods. And we can’t afford to go to the doctor if we don’t have insurance, âMiller said.
South Memphis Alliance is partnering with Planned Parenthood and Chip Memphis to offer testing. Additionally, the Shelby County Health Department is offering free STI and HIV testing on Friday, September 24 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
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