STD rates soar in Escambia County

Escambia County has a sexually transmitted disease problem.

Infectious syphilis cases have more than doubled in Florida over the past decade — and in Escambia County reported cases have jumped from 2 to 47 in the same time frame, according to the Florida Department of Health. Cases of chlamydia in the state rose from 42,381 in 2003 to 77,851 in 2012 and more than doubled here from 904 to 1,824.

HIV cases have more than doubled in Escambia County over the past four years – 2008: 19 to 2012: 46

Hillsborough County has a similar issues with STDs. The Tampa Tribune interviewed Ellen Daley, an assistant research professor at the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health. She pointed to the age group that makes up nearly 70 percent of the increases: adolescents through people in their mid-20s.

In Escambia County, of the 2,528 STD cases reported in 2012, a whopping 85 percent were people between the ages 15-29:

Ages 15-19: 750 cases 30% Ages 20-24: 983 cases 39% Ages 25-29: 410 cases 16%

A key is education. The school board needs to examine how sex education is being taught in Escambia County public schools.