If you’re looking for love on Valentine’s Day, make sure you aren’t looking for it in all the wrong places, or you may find yourself turning it into a literal “VD” day. What are your odds? Here’s a breakdown of the best and worst states’ rankings for sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs. Consider this a warning for all you Valentine’s Day lovebirds, and consider this a hearty laugh for all of the dateless, Valentine’s Day Scrooges.
When you think of rampant sexually transmitted diseases, what would be the first place you would expect to find high rates? Would it be the West Coast state of California with its hippie, free-love reputation? Would it be New York State with all those big city singles sleeping around like an episode of Sex in the City? You’d be wrong on both counts.
The Highest STD Rate Probably Isn’t Any Of The States You’d Expect
Believe it or not, Alaska — yes, Alaska — rates number one for STDs. The state with a reputation for having far more bachelors than bachelorettes has the highest rate of both chlamydia and gonorrhea STDs, according to BackgroundChecks.org. The site doesn’t explain why Alaska has earned this very dubious “honor,” but you would think that with such a disparity in the male to female ratio that a lot of the menfolk would be, how shall we say, flying solo a lot of nights.
Apparently, Alaska is a lot more happening than you may have thought. Although if you’re planning a visit for Valentine’s Day or anytime, make sure you take your “raincoats” as well as your heavy winter parkas to ensure you don’t bring back some unwelcome souvenirs.
East Coast vs. West Coast on STDs
So, how does the ultra-liberal, sexually-adventurous state of California rate? California actually comes in at number 16 on the United States STD rate chart, which is higher than average, but probably not as high as some might expect.
The states with the lowest level of STDs are mostly centered in the northeastern tip of the United States. New Hampshire believes in “living free,” but that apparently doesn’t include refraining from the use of condoms or monogamy to limit exposure to sexually transmitted diseases, as they came in at number 50 on the STD rankings. Maine took position number 48, Vermont 47, and believe it or not, New Jersey ranked number 41 in STDs, despite the Jersey Shore.
Those states on the East Coast who didn’t fare so well were New York at number 13 and Delaware (Delaware?) as the 14th highest STD rate. Those may not be the best places to hunt for your Valentine’s Day date.
You Do Know Planned Parenthood Diagnoses And Treats STDs, Right?
You may have noticed that, except for Alaska, none of those states were in the single-digit, top 10 of sexually transmitted diseases. So where are they? Would you believe that a lot of those highest STD rates are focused in one area of the country? You know it’s not the East Coast or California, but would you believe the area for most of highest rates of STDs is in the South or the “Bible Belt,” as many call it? Wait, the South with its religious values and its insistence that abstinence and waiting until marriage are the best ways to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases? The South, where many states are launching attacks against funding for Planned Parenthood, the clinic for low-income people to get STDs diagnosed and treated?
Yeah, that very South. Hint: you may want to rethink those policies about clinics providing STD services. Also, for those of you in the Bible Belt, make sure you come extra prepared on Valentine’s Day.
When it comes to STDs, Louisiana takes the No. 2 spot behind Alaska, with North Carolina third, and Mississippi fourth highest for sexually transmitted diseases. Georgia, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Alabama come in seventh, eighth, ninth, and 10th places respectively. For the record, it’s New Mexico that breaks up the monopoly of those southern states by coming in at No. 5 in STDs.
However, no matter where your state ranks, be sure to protect your health, as well as your heart, this Valentine’s Day by protecting against STDs.
[Featured Image by iStock]