RALEIGH – Cases of sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in North Carolina.

  • An estimated 36,800 people live with HIV in North Carolina, with approximately 3,400 unaware of their infection.
  • Congenital syphilis, a preventable type of syphilis passed from the mother to a child during pregnancy, has increased by 63 percent from 2015.
  • Young women between 15 and 24 years old have the highest number of reported chlamydia cases.

State health officials say cases of HIV and congenital syphilis, which is passed in pregnancy from mother to child, have increased.

New syphilis cases remained steady.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has been working with local health departments and community organizations on STD prevention efforts.

“Sexually transmitted diseases can affect anyone, so it’s important to know how to protect yourself,” said Jacquelyn Clymore, HIV/STD/Hepatitis Director in the Communicable Disease Branch of the North Carolina Division of Public Health. “We encourage individuals to have an open dialogue with their health care provider about getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV."

Some departments and organizations offer free and confidential testing. They advise to use condoms consistenly and correctly.

Meanwhile, Charlotte and Raleigh made the top 10 in a list of the 25 cities with the highest STD rates in America. The Insider Monkey survey shows Raleigh in tenth place and Charlotte in second place for the highest STD rates in the nation.

A similar survey ranked North Carolina as the state with second highest STD rate in America.

It shows the rate of chlamydia per 100,000 people is 647. The rate of gonorrhea per 100,000 people is 199.2. The rate of Syphilis per 100,000 people is 12.

Click here for more information about HIV and STDs.