STD rates in Cambridge, MA
Local health departments focus upon the general health of the population of the areas that they serve. They monitor STD rates as a part of the overall health of the community. Every time a person receives STD testing, certain information is recorded and forwarded to the health department for inclusion in their statistical database. No personal information is disclosed and individual privacy and confidentiality is strictly maintained. The information that is most useful is city or county of residence, STD test results, type of test performed, age, gender, sexual preference, income level and ethnicity. This helps in figuring out which groups of persons are testing positive annually and it gives analysts an idea of who may be at the greatest risk for getting an STD. The following table shows the results for this region based upon positive results per 100,000 in population.
Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B and C, HIV and Syphilis are prevalent in the area. To rise to the challenge of bringing the infection rates down, STD testing clinics have been established to provide private and confidential testing services. Those with financial struggles have the option of using free clinics which charge rates which are income sensitive. Ordering testing is easy and fast. All that is needed after the order is placed is a trip to a local testing lab for STD test completion.
- Chlamydia- 317.8
- Gonorrhea- 57.0
- Syphilis (all types)- 12.1
When compared with national average which are maintained in the Center for Disease Control database, this area has moderately lower rates of Chlamydia, average rates of Gonorrhea and higher rates for Syphilis (all stages). Syphilis is among the most dangerous STD among these three types as it has the potential for delivering a host of health complications and death if not caught early and properly treated.
How demographics can affect STD test rates
More educated people have a greater understanding of the risks associated with unprotected sex. Cambridge rates reflect lower numbers of people reporting Chlamydia and Gonorrhea than in many other sectors of the country. The troubling issue is the high Syphilis rate. There is a high likelihood that the majority of the population have a working knowledge of safe sex practices. They also realize the dangers of letting a potential STD infection go untreated and are willing to submit to testing and treatment when needed. There are pockets of poverty stricken communities within the Cambridge area. People from impoverished backgrounds are more likely to miss out on important sexual health education. This increases their risk for getting an STD because they may not be aware of the dangers of having unprotected sex. In addition, they may not recognize symptoms of STD infections or they may not realize their grave need to get tested.
Education for the masses
There are currently sexual health education campaigns underway in the area. Public schools provide mandatory sex education classes as a regular part of the curriculum. This is useful in reaching students before they are most likely to start experimenting with sex. If they suspect that they may have an STD, they will know where they can go for HIV testing or for a Herpes test. This information will be with them for the rest of their lives and the hope is that in the generations to come, that this will help to curb the spread of STD infections.
The internet is overflowing with public information about STD rates, symptoms and prevention for anyone that is interested. The Center for Disease Control posts updates on past and current STD rates with detailed tables in an effort to better inform the public about this massive health problem that is nationwide in scope.
What the data shows
Just a glance at STD rates over the past ten years shows that there are some consistent trends and patterns. Chlamydia is the most predominant form of sexually transmitted disease. Twice the number of women are diagnosed with this STD as men. It is the most common in women age 20 to 24, followed by those who are 15 to 19. With regard to ethnicity, Blacks have the highest rates for all types of STDs across the board, followed by Alaskan Indians/Native Americans, Hispanics, Whites, then Asians. The data has been consistent in the patterns that show which groups are at the most significant risk.
The greatest risk factor for getting an STD
Anyone who has unprotected sex could get an STD. All it takes is having sexual relations with someone who is infected. Your risk goes up when you sleep with multiple partners or a person whose monogamy cannot be verified. It only takes once. Sexual behaviors and the presence or lack of safe sex practices are what can make or break you.
How can I know if I’m infected?
Some STDs will present with symptoms almost immediately, while others may not show any signs for weeks, months, or even years. The only way to know for sure is to get tested. You can quickly, easily and conveniently order your testing at any time. You’ll just need to follow up with your order by visiting a nearby testing lab for confidential and private testing completion. It doesn’t take much of your time. The average lab visit is between 15 and 20 minutes. In some cases, it takes even less time. If you have questions or concerns, you may ask the staff or technicians and they will do their best to answer to the best of their ability. You will be treated with courtesy and professionalism at the time of your visit. Shortly, your testing results will arrive and you’ll know for certain.