Mississippi has some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted disease in the nation. As MPB’s Evelina Burnett reports, the state health department hopes a new app can help change that.
Mississippi has the 10th highest rate of HIV infection in the nation. State epidemiologist Doctor Thomas Dobbs says the state also has the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea. That’s why the health department has created a new app called Your PSH, or Personal Sexual Health.
"This is a tool that people can use to learn about STDs, know how to prevent them, find where to get treatment, send an email to someone who may have been exposed so they can get tested," he says. "Because there are a lot of myths about STDs, and they are abundant in Mississippi."
STD rates are especially high among young people in Mississippi. The rate of chlamydia infections was six times higher for 15 to 24 year olds than for the next older age group.Doctor Lori McNeal with Hancock Medical Women's Health says more education is crucial.
"I think young people are more aware - they do get a lot of education in school - but there's that invincibility factor when you're younger," she says. "So I think there needs to be a lot of education, and not being an ostrich and putting your head in the sand that it can't happen to me, because it can happen to anybody in any age group."
The new "Your PSH" app is available, for free, on both Apple and Android devices.