Cases of sexually transmitted infections are on the rise in Mississippi according to the State Health Department. MPB's Alexis Ware reports.
The state of Mississippi is seeing a surge in cases of syphilis. The Department of Health reports the number of people infected with the disease tripled between 2013 and 2016.
Dr. Ali Brown, a surgical pathologist in Jackson, says in Mississippi sexually transmitted infections are more prevalent because of the lack of education and low levels of income.
"Things like sexually transmitted diseases they tend to be higher in areas where lower income residence are lower socioeconomic status, lower levels of education."
In 2015 reports from the Centers for Disease Control say women make up ten percent of those infected with syphilis. Lisa Jordan works with Women's Foundation of Mississippi. She says when Mississippi students aren't offered sex education classes that teach more than abstinence, they are at risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections.
"That inconsistent use of medically accurate information is a disservice to young people and women in particular and the lack of sexual reproductive health information impacts young women for the rest of their lives, whether that results in an STD or an unplanned teen pregnancy."
Health officials say nationwide, the rate of syphilis cases are the highest they have been in 20 years. Reports indicate people between ages of 15 and 24 account for half of all new cases of sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S.