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Creation Date

Spring 2020


The prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) has rapidly increased in the United States (US), burdening the public health sector. According to the Centers for Disease Control (2019) STIs prevalence for syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia affected more Americans in 2018 than any other time in history. Chlamydia has increased 19% to 1.8 million cases in 2018. Gonorrhea rates increased by 63% to 583,405 cases in 2018 from 2014. Syphilis infection rates increased to 35,063 new cases of primary and secondary Syphilis (71%) since 2014. Congenital Syphilis incidence rose with 1,306 new cases (185%) since 2014. Research has linked multiple issues with increased STI prevalence, such as: illicit drug use, social determinants, and decreased access to STI screening and prevention resources (CDC, 2019). There is also evidence linking STI with depressive symptoms internationally (Jackson, Seth, DiClemente, & Lin, 2015), but less research focused on females within rural Midwestern settings. This correlational study will test for statistically significant associations between depressive symptoms and STIs in a Central Illinois medically underserved female population. This study hypothesizes females who screen positive for depression may have increased incidence of STIs.