HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. STIs cause severe complications including infertility, liver disease, and some forms of cancer. HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is of concern as a marker of high-risk behaviors as well as a disease agent. Rates of chlamydia are used to estimate STI rates as it is the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection. Surveillance data is available and reliable.

In 2013, there were 1,344 new HIV diagnoses, 742 new AIDS diagnoses, and 18,980 individuals living with HIV in Louisiana. The Baton Rouge public health region accounted for 20% of the new HIV diagnoses, 25% of the new AIDS diagnoses and 25% of those citizens living with HIV in 2013. African Americans accounted for 86% of the new HIV diagnoses. Seventy-one percent of African Americans diagnosed with HIV were men.