Dr. Michaels discusses Mobile County’s data in Alabama STD report 08.25.2023

August 25, 2023

Dr. Michaels discusses Mobile County’s data in Alabama STD report

MOBILE, Ala. — The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has released its Alabama Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Report covering January 2020 through June 2023. The entire document can be found at https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/std/assets/stdreport_jan2020-june2023.pdf.

Health Officer Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels said the report showed Mobile County has demonstrated increases in the number of cases from 2016 to 2022. Here are some examples:

• Chlamydia displayed the smallest increase after a peak in 2019 (2,843 cases to 3,107 cases).
• Gonorrhea cases nearly doubled during the same period (787 cases to 1,442 cases).
• Syphilis had a four-fold increase (42 cases to 174 cases).

“STDs are still present in our community with more females than males infected,” Dr. Michaels said. “The predominant diseases are Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Syphilis cases are greater in males than females. Many STDs cases are divided by self-described racial and ethnic descriptions but no one is immune from these diseases.”

Congenital Syphilis (a disease that occurs when a mother passes the infection on to her baby during pregnancy) remains an ever-increasing problem and is preventable. Guidance for sexually transmitted diseases during pregnancy cannot be over emphasized by the third trimester.

Alabama continues to report record high numbers of cases of congenital Syphilis. The state reported seven cases in 2018; 15 cases in 2019; 23 cases in 2020; 36 cases in 2021; and, alarmingly, 42 cases in 2022. This represents a 600 percent increase in cases since 2018. Early third trimester testing is covered by Medicaid. Unfortunately, the supply of Bicillin L-A for treating Syphilis is limited.

“Mobile County Health Department has multiple outreach activities across the community and jails addressing STDs,” Dr. Michaels said. “During health fairs and community programs we are providing educational opportunities to clients to know their status through home test kits and safe sex education programs.”

In September 2022, the Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) converted the space at its location in Tillman’s Corner (5580 Inn Road) into the Southwest Public Health Center. MCHD offers confidential, walk-in testing for STD’s including Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Trichomoniasis, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Services are available on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call the Southwest Public Health Center at 251-410-4393.

Family Health, the primary care division of MCHD, provides additional testing for Hepatitis, Herpes, and Human Papilloma Virus. To find a primary care facility located close to you, please visit this link — https://mchd.org/family-health/#locations.