DETROIT, Mich. (Michigan News Source)-The top 100 cities in America with the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) has been announced and Detroit, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor made the list.
Detroit was the worse of the bunch coming in at #44 with 807 STD cases per 100K people, 115 HIV cases, 21,729 chlamydia cases, 12,335 gonorrhea cases and 898 syphilis cases. Grand Rapids was #57 with 712 STD cases per 100K people and Ann Arbor was #91 with 445 cases per 100K people.
These numbers come from Innerbody, a website of a group of researchers and writers who focus entirely on health-related products, services and in-depth studies. In order to complete their study, they used data from the CDC and the U.S. census and ranked cities with estimated populations of 500K or more.
Cities ranking at the top of the list were Memphis, Tennessee; Jackson, Mississippi; Columbia, South Carolina; Baltimore, Maryland; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Memphis has 1,460 STD cases per 100K people, although on the bright side, there are only five HIV cases listed in their Tennessee city.
In doing the study, the Innerbody group had several takeaways including the fact that Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis top the list of most commonly reported new STD infections. They also report that the south continues to be disproportionately represented among the hardest-hit cities with 14 of the top 25 cities on the list being southern cities.
Three of the top 25 cities are in Florida and California contributed 13 cities to the rankings this year.
Other things stood out in the study as well including the amount of money spent on healthcare. 17 of the Top 25 cities with the highest STD rates are located in states with healthcare spending below the national average of $10,191 per capita. States that are among the lowest in healthcare spending per capita – Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Carolina – account for the three highest STD rates.
The data also showed racial inequities. Innerbody says, “While we witness increases in STD infection across many groups, the STD burden continued to hit minority racial and ethnic groups the hardest. The fact that many of the highest-ranking cities in our study have a higher percentage of minority residents also appears to reflect this trend.”
The report goes on to say, “When comparing infection rates of White people to those of some minority racial and ethnic groups, the CDC data shows that dramatic disparities remain. Though non-hispanic Black people comprise approximately 12% of the total population of the country, they account for a disproportionate 32% of chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea infections.”
There also seems to be differences with political ties and affiliation although the information is mixed. According to the report, out of the top 20 cities with the highest STD rates in the rankings, 16 of them are led by Democratic mayors. However, since a significant percentage of health spending happens at the state level, they also took a look at the political party membership of governors in the states where those cities are located. Through this lens, a murkier picture emerges: among the top 20 cities with the highest STD infection rates, 12 are located in states led by Republican governors.