The numbers also showed that the counties with the highest reported STD rates were Montgomery and Dallas counties, which report four times the national average.
According to the Center for Disease Control, chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause swollen genitals, painful urination and abnormal discharge. Left untreated, the diseases can cause infertility.
The CDC also said that syphilis can cause lesions, rashes, sore throat, hair and weight loss and fever. Left untreated, it can cause paralysis, numbness, blindness, dementia or even death. These symptoms can begin up to 30 years after infection.
The best tool in the fight against the spread of STDs and their complications is testing and treating those who are infected so they don’t spread the disease to future partners. All three diseases are treatable with antibiotics, but once damage is done, it becomes permanent. Also, mothers who are infected with these diseases can transmit the infection to the children during childbirth.
Although sexually active individuals of any age are susceptible to infection, the highest number of infections happen between 15 and 19 years old and 20 to 24 years old. There is a decline in the number of infections after the age of 26.
A doctor can run routine tests for these and other STDs, or you can visit your county health department for testing (an appointment may be necessary).
The Walker County Health Department is located at 705 20th Avenue East in Jasper. The office phone number is (205) 221-9775.
The Winston County Health Department is located at 110 Legion Road in Double Springs. The office number is (205) 489-2101.
The Jefferson County Health Department is located at 1400 Sixth Avenue South in Birmingham. The phone number is (205) 933-9110.