About STD Data

about std data

Information on this page:

What do these data tell us?

The number of chlamydia and gonorrhea cases per county, per year, as well as statewide totals. Data are also displayed as crude rates (rate per 100,000 population) at the county and state levels.

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How can we use these data?

Explore and visualize disease burden throughout Iowa at county and statewide levels. Data can be viewed by individual year and as case counts or rates.

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What can these data not tell us and what are some data limitations?

These data only represent reported cases of a particular infection. There are a number of reasons why a case may not be reported. First, an individual has to be diagnosed by a clinician. Because STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea are often asymptomatic, many infected individuals never seek testing. Gaps in the disease reporting system can also lead to cases not being reported. For these reasons and others, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that the actual disease burdens of chlamydia and gonorrhea are likely double of what is reported to health departments. Additionally, not all STDs are reportable to IDPH. These data can only tell us about individual STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea. There is no way to get a statewide picture of all STDs in a county or the state.

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What is the source of the data?

Iowa is a dual reporting state for STDs, meaning that both the laboratory with the positive results and the clinician making the diagnosis are required to report. STD data are from both of these sources. One of the reasons for dual reporting is that laboratories rarely have all needed information (e.g., treatment information). Data from both sources are combined and deduplicated in a single system.

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