JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jackson now has the second highest rate for STDs in the country, a significant jump from last year’s ranking of 15.
“The data is telling us that in Jackson, Mississippi we’re having a lot of unsafe sex. But we can change the tide with condoms," Deja Abdul-Haqq, director at My Brother’s Keeper says the new stats on STD numbers in Jackson are of major concern.
“Jackson, Mississippi to be a smaller city with rates that are parallel in larger cities, you have to understand that we really can’t afford an epidemic like this because our infrastructure is not capable of maintaining that type of epidemic," said Abdul-Haqq.
She said places where education and job wages are low show a correlation with high STD rates.
“If I don’t have any option as far as my earning power is concerned, there’s always going to be sex as an option. And if I am engaging in sex as a trade or barter, the likelihood of condom use being apart of that is slim to none,” she explained.
Abdull-Haqq said providing the youth with proper sex health education can help reduce the numbers along with free resources like STD testing and condoms can also help combat the issue.
“Once you know that you’ve been exposed then we can get immediately into treatment. If you have not been exposed to any of these infections and you’re testing negative, then you need to consider okay ‘now what am I going to do?’ Because, if you’re afraid when you take that test, that means you know you’ve been engaged in condom-less sex," said Adbull-Haqq.