STDs on the rise in Mid-South states - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

STDs on the rise in Mid-South states

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"When you have rates of higher poverty, you tend to find rates of higher STDs," said Cedric Robinson of the Shelby County Health Department's Infectious Disease Office. "When you have rates of higher poverty, you tend to find rates of higher STDs," said Cedric Robinson of the Shelby County Health Department's Infectious Disease Office.
Robinson says health departments offer free testing and treatment for STDs. Robinson says health departments offer free testing and treatment for STDs.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in the Mid-South.

New statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control show a rise in STDs. Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee are high on the lists.

The specific STDs that are highest in the region are chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.

Some residents use safe sex, and others preach abstinence.

"When you have rates of higher poverty, you tend to find rates of higher STDs," said Cedric Robinson of the Shelby County Health Department's Infectious Disease Office.

He says behaviors have also changed.

"People have increased the number of sex partners they have, and they're not taking the time to go and get tested," said Robinson.

Mississippi has the highest incidence in the country for both chlamydia and gonorrhea, topping two lists. All three states in this area rank high for syphilis.

Robinson says health departments offer free testing and treatment for STDs.

"So you don't have to get a prescription and go to your doctor and pharmacist. You can actually get it filled here," said Robinson.

They offer discretion.

"If you're 13 years or older, you can come to the health department or anywhere in the state and get tested without parental consent," said Robinson.

The health department is increasing outreach efforts, from talking to youth to using technology.

"There's actually an app where you can go to FreeCondomsMemphis where you can go to restaurants and tattoo paroles and get free condoms," said Robinson.

Robinson says those who get the simple urine test tend not to spread diseases. Some say it is about self-pride.

"Don't go out with just anyone just to get attention. Be reserved, have respect for yourself. Find somebody you like before you try to take that step," said resident Allen Jenkins.

Click here for the full STD report.

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