San Antonio has highest rate of STDs of Texas' big cities, study finds

Nearly 20% of San Antonio residents under 65 lack health insurance, which experts say contributes to the problem.

click to enlarge In San Antonio, 834 people per every 100,000 residents have an STD, according to a study by health research firm Innerbody. - Pexels / Gustavo Fring
Pexels / Gustavo Fring
In San Antonio, 834 people per every 100,000 residents have an STD, according to a study by health research firm Innerbody.
San Antonio has the highest rate of sexually transmitted disease of any large Texas city, according to a new study.

With 834 per every 100,000 residents carrying an STD, the Alamo City has the nation's 37th-highest infection rate and the highest of any major city in the state, according to number crunching by health-research firm Innerbody.

Innerbody analyzed the latest STD statistics from the 100 largest U.S. cities to compile its list.

Nationally, gonorrhea and syphilis topped the list, with chlamydia being the most common in San Antonio and other Texas cities. Austin came in at No. 49 on the list, Dallas at No. 50, Houston at No. 58 and El Paso at No. 58.

The cities with the highest STD rates are primarily in the South, where healthcare spending is below the national average, according to the study.

In San Antonio, 19.5% of the population under 65 lacks health insurance, more than double the national average, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Experts have also attributed Alamo City's high STD rates to Texas' continued attacks on reproductive-health providers such as Planned Parenthood and on lagging sex education in schools.

"We've got an entire generation that didn't experience the AIDS epidemic of the '90s," Dr. Coleen Bridger, then-director of San Antonio Metro Health District, told the Current in 2018. "They've become nonchalant."

Even so, the new study's authors admit the correlation between STD rates and healthcare spending isn't perfect. For example, the District of Columbia spends the most on healthcare per capita, but it still had the ninth-highest rate of STDs.

Memphis took the top spot on the list. In that city, 1,460 of every 100,000 people has an STD. Meanwhile, the New York suburb of Monmouth, New Jersey, had the lowest rate of STDs of the nation’s 100 largest cities.

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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