STDs are considered an epidemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) since too many lives have been lost against these chronic diseases. And today there are multiple types of STDs that are prevalent which makes them more vulnerable and contagious to sexually active people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Texas State ranks in one of the top States that records the highest STD cases every year.
What are STDs?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases are a type of infection that has a primary mode of transmission as intimate contact – which includes vaginal, oral, and anal sex. It is caused by highly contagious pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and parasites. STDs are also commonly referred to as STIs or Veneral Diseases. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are nearly 1 million new STD cases acquired every day across the globe.
Symptoms of STDs
Symptoms of STDs vary from the type of STD that you have acquired. Unlike other diseases like allergies which causes immediate reaction effect signaling something is wrong with your body as the symptoms and signs pop up. STDs are completely opposite – they do not generally show symptoms in the initial phase which makes it harder to detect in the first place leading to slow growth of the disease inside the body. Symptoms of STDs are illustrated with the following infographic –
Types of STDs
Talking about the types of STDs, there are more than a dozen types of Sexually Transmitted Diseases distinguished according to their causing agent. However, not all the types are highly contagious or commonly reported. The following are the 6 most common types of STDs that have taken the largest toll number in overall STD cases in the US –
Most Common STDs in Texas
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, research publish in Feb 2018, the following three STDs are very common in the Texas State –
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data in 2019 the number of Americans with chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV are at their highest numbers in 2020 since the records began. More than 20 million people are infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) every year.
Chlamydia is the most frequently reported sexually transmitted infection in the United States that is caused by a type of bacteria called Chlamydia Trachomatis. In the year 2018 alone, there were nearly 1.75 million cases of Chlamydia reported to the CDC from all the 50 states in the US. Men who have sex with men (MSM) have reported an increased number of cases of the chlamydial infection since chlamydia can be transmitted by oral or anal sex. Among MSM screened for rectal chlamydia infection, positivity ranged from 3.0% to 10.5%. Among MSM screened for oral chlamydia infection 0.5% to 2.3% has returned positive.
In 2018, the total number of reported Chlamydia cases in Texas was 145,874. Texas has a Chlamydia rate per 100,000 residents at 508.2. This means, for every 100,000 Texas residents, about 508 people will have Chlamydia.
Gonorrhea is the second most common STD that is caused by a bacteria called Neisseria Gonorrhoeae. The CDC estimates that 820,000 people in the United States get new gonorrheal infections on an annual basis. Since these infections go unnoticed in the initial phase and people are skeptical about showing up to the lab and getting tested due to the stigma around them, is it said that less than half of these infections are actually detected and reported.
In 2018, the total number of reported gonorrhea cases in Texas was around 46,958. Texas has a Gonorrhea rate per 100,000 residents at 163.6. This means, for every 100,000 Texas residents, about 163.6 people will have Gonorrhea infection. This number has increased by +1.7% compared to the previous year.
Syphilis is another very common STD caused by a different type of bacteria called Treponema pallidum – this one can cause long-term health complications if not detect and treated at the right phase. In 2018, the total number of syphilis cases reported in the US was the highest recorded since the year 1991. The number stood at a whopping 115,045 as per the report from the CDC in 2018.
Syphilis can be divided into three types namely, primary, secondary tertiary syphilis. Out of the 115,045 cases in 2018, around 39,000 cases were primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis which is the earliest yet highly contagious stages of syphilis. A pregnant woman with syphilis STD can transmit it to their unborn child – which is referred to as Congenital Syphilis where the newborn gets infected with the disease and faces multiple complications fighting the bacteria.
Most syphilis cases in the United States are among men who have sex with men (MSM). The demographics also details that the cases of syphilis were highest among men who fall between the age of 20–34 years of age. Nearly 54% of the total cases of primary and secondary syphilis were contributed by MSM in 2018.
In the year 2018, State of Texas Total Syphilis reported cases were 12,900 and the syphilis rate per 100,000 Texas residents stood at 44.9. This means, for every 100,000 Texas residents, about 44.9 people will have Syphilis infection. This number has increased by +10.6% compared to the previous year.
Congenital syphilis cases have dramatically increased in five states and Texas ranks one of them – Texas, California, Florida, Arizona, and Louisiana – accounted for 70 percent of cases in the U.S.
Top 3 Cities in Texas that has the highest number of STD cases
If you are living in the following regions of Texas, then beware of highly transmissible STDs having the highest toll across Texas. Houston has reported the highest number of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis 21981, 7426, and 473 new cases respectively.
|City of Residence||Chlamydia||Gonorrhea|
The above data is provided by Texas Health Department.
Are STDs Curable?
When it comes to STDs, these diseases can also be treated and it’s a myth that all STDs are similar to HIV – that is once acquired one has to live with it for life. With the advancements in medical diagnosis and detection techniques, most STDs are curable if they are detected in the early phase of the disease.
Typically STDs can be classified into two types – curable STDs and incurable STDs. Curable STDs are those caused by bacteria and parasites which can be terminated with the help of antibiotics. On the other hand, incurable STDs like HIV and Herpes have viral agents as their causing agents which have no antibiotics that can completely cure the disease to date.
Thus, it is important to get tested for STDs the moment you suspect being exposed to the disease. Waiting for the symptoms to appear and/or the symptoms to go away on their own is not advisable. The sooner the detection and diagnosis the better it is for faster recovery.
STD Statistics in Texas and the US
Conclusively, the STD cases in Texas and in the United States have been rising over the past few years. Diving deep into the numbers, it is estimated that more women are prone to STDs and have the highest toll compared to men.
Even though the reports from CDC and Texas Department of Health Services are highly credible as they are Government funded non-profit organizations, they have also claimed to say the numbers of reported STD cases in Texas might be higher than published numbers. Since many STD cases go undiagnosed and therefore unreported.