STDs are striking Mississippi teens as young as 13

Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Sex is in high demand on the streets and behinds closed doors in Mississippi. As a result, Mississippi has alarming rates of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, or STDs.

"Right now, we're fifth in the country for chlamydia, third in the country in Gonorrhea, ninth in the country for HIV," said State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs.

Mississippi stands out for certain STDs in the United States, a fact that concerns Dr. Dobbs.

"We know the city of Jackson is number two for HIV infections," he said.  "Particularly, the 13 to 24 age group is where we have a real alarming predominance of HIV infections. Approximately one in 100 African Americans in Mississippi is infected with HIV."

Many people have no concept of the social behaviors that are practiced all the time in the Magnolia State.

"Lack of access for preventive measures and lack of access to care are probably two big factors that drive that," said Dr. Dobbs.

The health department is encouraging people of all ages to download a free app for cell phones.  It's called Your Personal Sexual Health App.

"It has all sorts of information about testing, prevention and education materials on these STDs," added Dr. Dobbs. "They are a great resource for anybody in Mississippi."

Dr. Dobbs says the health department is now in the process of working through schools to provide education about sexual health to the younger victims of STDs.

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