By Geoffrey Cooper and Ted Keefe
HIV/AIDS isn’t the only sexually transmitted disease prevalent in Richmond.
The city also ranks high nationally in three other STDs — gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis — that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks on a city and county level.
Indeed, Richmond is one of only 10 U.S. localities that rank in the top 100 in all four STDs monitored by the CDC, according to a computer analysis of the agency’s data. Richmond was the only Virginia locality with that dubious distinction; it shared the trait with two other Mid-Atlantic cities, Baltimore and Philadelphia.
Petersburg, Norfolk and Portsmouth also ranked in the top 100 nationally for rate of gonorrhea. Petersburg’s rate was 550 cases for every 100,000 residents, the 12th-highest rate in the country.
Based on the CDC reports, chlamydia is Virginia’s most prevalent STD, with 11 localities ranking in the top 100. Petersburg ranked the highest at No. 9 with a rate of nearly 1,900 diagnoses per 100,000 people. Richmond ranked No. 26 with a rate around 1,360.
Syphilis is the least common STD in Virginia. Even so, six of the commonwealth’s localities rank in the top 100 nationally. Richmond had a rate of 25 cases for every 100,000 people, placing it at No. 23 nationally.
Below is a spreadsheet table via Google of how each U.S. locality ranks when it comes to gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia: