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These are the US Cities Where STDs Are on the Rise

These are the US Cities Where STDs Are on the Rise

Even with advancements in the medical field, STDs are still a major health concern. While certain types of birth control can protect against STDs, many infections can still be transmitted even while taking precautions.

According to the World Health Organization, more than one million curable STIs, or sexually transmitted infections, are transmitted every day worldwide. Although modern medical professionals know more about STDs than previous generations did, the spread of these diseases is still prominent.

One concerning trend is the rise of STDs among older populations. Most STDs are preventable, but those who are past their child-bearing years may not be as concerned about the possibility of infection or be aware of how to protect themselves.

For those who are younger and still plan on having children, STDs can be incredibly harmful to their future health. Certain STDs, such as chlamydia, can even impact a person’s fertility when left untreated. In women, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease if the STD spreads to the womb. Pelvic inflammatory disease can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant and increase her chances of having an ectopic pregnancy.

In the US alone, there are millions of new infections each year. Additionally, STDs are on the rise in certain cities. (After this article, check out The 25 Unhealthiest Cities in America.)

Methodology: 

To determine the cities where STDs are on the rise, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on chlamydia incidence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Metropolitan statistical areas were ranked based on the change in the number of diagnosed cases of chlamydia – the most common STI, and an indicator of overall STI prevalence – per 100,000 residents from 2017 to 2022.

Data on population came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population and Housing Unit Estimates program. Data was aggregated from the county level to the metropolitan statistical area level using boundary definitions from the Census Bureau. Supplemental data on the percentage of adults 25 years and over with at least a high school diploma came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 American Community Survey and are one-year estimates. Data on the percentage of adults 18 and over who report came from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program and is based on data for 2021.

50. York-Hanover, PA

Source: ChrisBoswell / iStock via Getty Images

Source: ChrisBoswell / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 381.3 per 100,000 residents (+56.0 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 17.5%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 92.0%
  • Total population: 461,049

49. Columbus, GA-AL

Columbus, Georgia, USA downtown skyline on the Chattahoochee River at dusk.
Source: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Source: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 819.6 per 100,000 residents (+57.7 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 15.4%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 88.9%
  • Total population: 323,826

48. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN

Source: Kruck20 / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Kruck20 / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 530.9 per 100,000 residents (+60.8 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 17.2%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 92.4%
  • Total population: 2,071,019

47. Fayetteville, NC

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 1,109.9 per 100,000 residents (+62.8 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 18.6%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 91.0%
  • Total population: 390,472

46. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 648.0 per 100,000 residents (+67.8 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 16.1%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 91.5%
  • Total population: 6,238,676

45. Lancaster, PA

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 257.6 per 100,000 residents (+70.5 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 17.2%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 87.9%
  • Total population: 556,660

44. Merced, CA

Source: diegograndi / iStock via Getty Images

Source: diegograndi / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 457.6 per 100,000 residents (+71.0 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 17.4%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 74.3%
  • Total population: 290,210

43. Victoria, TX

Source: BOB WESTON / iStock via Getty Images

Source: BOB WESTON / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 571.3 per 100,000 residents (+72.3 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 17.5%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 83.1%
  • Total population: 98,194

42. Texarkana, TX-AR

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 739.5 per 100,000 residents (+74.9 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 16.2%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 90.1%
  • Total population: 146,185

41. Evansville, IN

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 586.5 per 100,000 residents (+76.0 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 17.3%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 92.0%
  • Total population: 269,892

40. Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA

Source: kenlund / Flickr

Source: kenlund / Flickr
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 730.6 per 100,000 residents (+77.1 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 18.7%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 83.2%
  • Total population: 200,383

39. Omaha, NE-IA

Source: Davel5957 / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Davel5957 / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 621.4 per 100,000 residents (+78.0 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 21.5%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 93.2%
  • Total population: 976,309

38. Odessa, TX

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 660.6 per 100,000 residents (+78.3 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 18.4%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 75.6%
  • Total population: 161,057

37. Terre Haute, IN

Source: peeterv / iStock via Getty Images

Source: peeterv / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 514.2 per 100,000 residents (+78.8 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 16.3%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 90.8%
  • Total population: 168,596

36. Dothan, AL

Source: Jens_Lambert_Photography / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Jens_Lambert_Photography / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 630.9 per 100,000 residents (+79.8 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 13.8%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 86.4%
  • Total population: 152,477

35. Gainesville, FL

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 833.2 per 100,000 residents (+80.0 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 17.9%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 92.4%
  • Total population: 348,296

34. Walla Walla, WA

Source: Rex_Wholster / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Rex_Wholster / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 412.3 per 100,000 residents (+81.8 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 18.2%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 91.1%
  • Total population: 61,853

33. Columbia, SC

Source: Kruck20 / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Kruck20 / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 824.3 per 100,000 residents (+83.2 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 18.4%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 92.2%
  • Total population: 848,112

32. Topeka, KS

Source: walencienne / iStock via Getty Images

Source: walencienne / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 660.6 per 100,000 residents (+83.4 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 17.1%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 93.2%
  • Total population: 231,897

31. Charleston-North Charleston, SC

Source: skiserge1 / iStock via Getty Images

Source: skiserge1 / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 669.7 per 100,000 residents (+88.3 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 21.9%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 92.8%
  • Total population: 830,352

30. Yakima, WA

Source: waterfordyork / iStock via Getty Images

Source: waterfordyork / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 753.3 per 100,000 residents (+89.8 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 16.0%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 80.3%
  • Total population: 257,019

29. Harrisonburg, VA

Source: BackyardProduction / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Source: BackyardProduction / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 555.8 per 100,000 residents (+91.7 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 17.8%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 86.7%
  • Total population: 136,564

28. Gainesville, GA

Source: BOB WESTON / iStock via Getty Images

Source: BOB WESTON / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 443.0 per 100,000 residents (+97.2 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 16.8%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 80.8%
  • Total population: 212,621

27. Spartanburg, SC

Source: Kruck20 / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Kruck20 / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 691.5 per 100,000 residents (+100.4 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 15.9%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 88.5%
  • Total population: 372,687

26. Fargo, ND-MN

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 549.9 per 100,000 residents (+100.7 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 22.0%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 96.0%
  • Total population: 258,573

25. Valdosta, GA

Source: sshepard / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

Source: sshepard / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 906.1 per 100,000 residents (+102.6 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 15.7%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 88.5%
  • Total population: 149,646

24. Erie, PA

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 465.0 per 100,000 residents (+108.2 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 18.2%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 93.2%
  • Total population: 268,840

23. Lafayette, LA

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 674.0 per 100,000 residents (+109.3 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 20.0%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 85.4%
  • Total population: 412,641

22. Memphis, TN-MS-AR

Source: benedek / iStock via Getty Images

Source: benedek / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 980.2 per 100,000 residents (+110.2 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 15.2%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 90.4%
  • Total population: 1,338,667

21. Grand Island, NE

Source: Cheri Alguire / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Source: Cheri Alguire / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 499.2 per 100,000 residents (+110.9 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 17.5%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 88.7%
  • Total population: 76,320

20. Jonesboro, AR

Source: BOB WESTON / iStock via Getty Images

Source: BOB WESTON / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 787.0 per 100,000 residents (+115.1 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 14.2%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 90.1%
  • Total population: 135,316

19. Auburn-Opelika, AL

Aerial View of the Town and University of Auburn, Alabama
Source: Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock.com

Source: Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock.com
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 535.1 per 100,000 residents (+115.6 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 15.8%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 92.9%
  • Total population: 199,230

18. Sioux Falls, SD-MN

Source: Jacob Boomsma / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Jacob Boomsma / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 585.1 per 100,000 residents (+118.8 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 22.6%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 93.9%
  • Total population: 299,079

17. Gulfport-Biloxi, MS

Source: dszc / iStock via Getty Images

Source: dszc / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 633.3 per 100,000 residents (+120.1 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 15.9%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 89.9%
  • Total population: 420,054

16. Hammond, LA

Source: Z28scrambler / Wikimedia Commons

Source: Z28scrambler / Wikimedia Commons
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 948.1 per 100,000 residents (+126.1 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 18.6%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 85.0%
  • Total population: 136,799

15. Alexandria, LA

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 887.5 per 100,000 residents (+126.8 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 16.8%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 86.5%
  • Total population: 149,068

14. Beckley, WV

Source: hkim39 / iStock via Getty Images

Source: hkim39 / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 331.6 per 100,000 residents (+129.3 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 12.0%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 85.1%
  • Total population: 112,189

13. Baton Rouge, LA

Source: felixmizioznikov / iStock via Getty Images

Source: felixmizioznikov / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 870.1 per 100,000 residents (+164.7 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 18.1%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 89.1%
  • Total population: 872,347

12. Sioux City, IA-NE-SD

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 652.6 per 100,000 residents (+165.7 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 20.2%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 88.3%
  • Total population: 143,737

11. Goldsboro, NC

Downtown Goldsboro NC Sidewalk
Source: 360vphoto / Shutterstock.com

Source: 360vphoto / Shutterstock.com
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 813.1 per 100,000 residents (+166.1 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 15.5%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 84.6%
  • Total population: 117,449

10. Barnstable Town, MA

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 260.3 per 100,000 residents (+167.6 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 17.7%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 96.1%
  • Total population: 232,078

9. Cape Girardeau, MO-IL

Source: Geoff Eccles / Getty Images

Source: Geoff Eccles / Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 647.0 per 100,000 residents (+181.2 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 17.2%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 91.3%
  • Total population: 98,303

8. Manhattan, KS

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 743.7 per 100,000 residents (+190.8 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 22.1%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 95.1%
  • Total population: 133,384

7. Macon-Bibb County, GA

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 961.7 per 100,000 residents (+203.6 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 14.4%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 87.3%
  • Total population: 233,952

6. Dubuque, IA

Source: cosmonaut / iStock via Getty Images

Source: cosmonaut / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 479.2 per 100,000 residents (+205.1 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 21.7%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 94.0%
  • Total population: 98,715

5. Decatur, IL

Source: Westhoff / E+ via Getty Images

Source: Westhoff / E+ via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 933.6 per 100,000 residents (+216.3 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 15.9%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 95.2%
  • Total population: 101,333

4. Elmira, NY

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 562.2 per 100,000 residents (+238.9 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 18.4%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 91.7%
  • Total population: 81,641

3. Rocky Mount, NC

Source: fallbrook / Getty Images

Source: fallbrook / Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 1,024.9 per 100,000 residents (+248.2 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 15.2%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 83.1%
  • Total population: 144,209

2. Sumter, SC

Source: makasana / iStock via Getty Images

Source: makasana / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 1,117.0 per 100,000 residents (+386.0 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 15.9%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 88.2%
  • Total population: 103,936

1. Decatur, AL

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • Chlamydia cases, 2022: 778.2 per 100,000 residents (+514.3 from 2017)
  • Adults reporting excessive drinking: 14.4%
  • Adults with at least a high school diploma: 86.2%
  • Total population: 157,418
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