STD Rates in AZ on the Rise as State Issues Syphilis Outbreak Warning

Dec 3, 2018

The Arizona Department of Health Services has issued a warning about a syphilis outbreak. 

Credit Arizona Department of Health Services

But other sexually transmitted diseases are also on the rise across the state and in Northern Arizona.

Northern Arizona counties have some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases in the state.

Apache, Navajo and Coconino counties had the highest rates of chlamydia infections per 100,000 residents, respetively.

Navajo and Apache counties also had the highest rates of gonorrhea in Arizona.

But an epidemiologist with the Arizona Department of Health Services said the problem is statewide, regardless of where hotspots may be located.

“No matter what county you’re looking at, no matter what geographical area, no matter what socio-economic background you’re using for analysis, you’re seeing increases across the state,” said Eugene Livar.

The state is particularly concerned with syphilis because of an increase in newborns killed by or born with the disease.

Gila County has the highest rate of syphilis infections in the state.

Livar said the most affective way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases from spreading is to abstain from sexual activity, but other effective tactics include practicing safe sex, limiting your number of sexual partners and ensuring you and your sexual partners are routinely checked for STDs.