If you’ve been wondering just how responsible your state is when it comes to safe sex, as one often does, then look no further. A new study entitled, "State by State Safer Sex Index," by Trojan Brand Condoms has discovered where people are using condoms the most and what states need some work. And, as someone who lives in the Northeast, I’m proud to say this is where people really care about keeping themselves and their partner safe through each and every orgasm.
The researchers examined each state and ranked them on eight indicators regarding sexual health. Every state was scored on two measures; the first being STDs and the second being contraception use. The scores in these two areas were then compiled an overall safe sex score was determined for each and every state ― even the two we sometimes forget about: Alaska and Hawaii. Those with the highest scores were the most vigilant in contraception use and STI prevention, while those with low scores need sexual education ASAP.
If you look at the graph you can see how the actual rates were conceived in regards to STD and contraception scores. All the way to the right and up, with the best score is Vermont, while all the way to the left and down, is where you can find Louisiana. Oh, Louisiana.
Included in the research are the HIV diagnoses per 100,000 of the population in the state, the gonorrhea and syphilis cases per 100,000 of the population, the amount of people who have received HIV tests in that state, as well as stats on sex ed and teen pregnancy. Basically, nothing was left out.
So where does your state reside in the rankings?
1. Vermont Is The Safest State Out There
Oh, Vermont, such a lovely state ― and, apparently, an extremely safe one, too. Of all the states, Vermont is the state where people are most prone to not just use condoms, but keep their sexual health in check. Vermont has an STD score of 2.3148 and a contraception score of 3.1907 ― these are great figures to have.
2. Louisiana Needs To A Sex Ed Refresher Class
When we compare the STD and contraception scores in Louisiana to those in Vermont, we’re looking at some scary stuff. How scary? Louisiana has an STD score of -4.005 and contraception score of -2.2006.
Considering the fact that sex education isn’t mandated in Louisiana and actually banned in some school districts, we can’t be totally surprised by these figures, but it's all the more reason to continue educating each other about sex.
3. The Northeast Dominates When It Comes To Safe Sex
Of the top 10 safest states, the Northeast is the safest when it comes to sex. In fact, sans Connecticut and Massachusetts, all of New England can be found in the top 10 with Maine and New Hampshire sitting pretty at the second and third spots, respectively. Hawaii is in the fourth spot, while the fifth spot goes to New Jersey.
4. West Virginia Is The Only Southern State In The Top 10 Safe Sex States
Although the Southern states reign supreme when it comes to failing in the safe sex area of things, the one Southern state that gives us hope is West Virginia. It’s actually in the seventh spot out of the top 10 and should probably be giving the rest of its Southern buddies a lesson in condom use.
5. Alaska And Nevada Are The Only States In The Top 10 Least Safe States That Aren’t In The South
While Louisiana takes the top spot for the worst rankings when it comes to safe sexual practices and high STD rates, not far behind it are Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, Nevada, Alaska, and Alabama. FYI: You can pop into any Planned Parenthood and load up on free condoms.
6. Teen Pregnancy Hit An All Time Low In 2012
According to the Center for Disease Control, teen pregnancy (ages 15 to 19), has been on the decline for decades with 2012 seeing the lowest rate in years. But despite that, as the Trojan study found, there is a huge disparity between the states when it comes to teen pregnancy, again, most notably in the South. New Hampshire, however, has the lowest teen pregnancy rate in the country.
7. Gonorrhea Infections Are Still Too Common
Of all the STDs out there, gonorrhea continues to be the most common with stats that really affected the Trojan study. Although curable with antibiotics, gonorrhea can infect the genitals, rectum, and even the throat.
However, it should be noted that although it wasn’t included in the Trojan study, according to the CDC, chlamydia is the most common STI in the United States. It's also treatable. But, of course, your chances of contracting either of these infections significantly decrease when condoms are used ― and used correctly.
8. Everyone Should Be Tested For HIV At Least Once In Their Life
Are you sexually active and haven’t been tested for HIV? Then now's the time. According to the CDC, everyone between the ages of 13 and 64, who have engaged in sexual activities, should be tested at least once. If you’re at greater risk, then you need to get tested even more.
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