Santa Maria STD Test Statistics
Like much of the state the number of sexually transmitted diseases is rising, and has been for several years. Over the past twenty years health officials have watched the number of sexually transmitted infections steadily increase, with very little being down to help keep the public safe.
This has led to Chlamydia rates in women higher than state averages, and even men are testing positive more often for this infectious disease. The recent statistics released by the Santa Barbara County Health Department actually show that across the board men are among those with the greatest risk.
More men are contracting Gonorrhea and Syphilis, and HIV rates are also increasing. It is not only members of the LGBT community that are finding themselves at risk, but heterosexuals as well. The recent statistics clearly show that STDs do not differentiate between age, race or sexual preference.
Men and women ages 18 to 24 do have a higher risk of contracting a STD, but older residents are testing positive for primary and secondary Syphilis more often. Gonorrhea rates are also rising in young people, and African American males are among those with the greatest risk of contracting this venereal disease.
Primary and secondary Syphilis incidents are higher in Hispanic and Caucasian males, though the recent statistics also show that Latin American women are starting to contract this preventable disease with increasing frequency. Some other statistics released by the health department that residents should be aware of include,
- In 2014 the incident rate for primary and secondary Syphilis was highest in men ages 25 to 29.
- From 2011 to 2014 the Chlamydia rates in women surpassed state averages.
- Since 2005 the number of men infected with Syphilis has nearly doubled, and as of 2014 the rate for women has almost reached state averages.
Sex Education and STD Testing
This city is not the only one in the state dealing with a high STD rate, and lawmakers have taken proactive steps to begin dealing with the health crisis. This has included public awareness campaigns, along with updating the state’s sex education classes in its public schools.
For more than twenty years public school districts have been allowed to follow their own guidelines, as long as medically accurate information regarding HIV/AIDS was included. In response most districts choose to accept funding from the federal government that can with the stipulation that they followed the strict guidelines in its abstinence based sex education programs. Started in the 1980’s in response to the AIDS epidemic, state lawmakers realized that this program was no longer relevant to teens or even most adults.
Following the positive results in other states where comprehensive sexual education classes are offered, the start of the school year brought about these changes. Even though abstinence is still encouraged, students also learn how STDs are spread and the best ways they can protect themselves. This includes regular HIV testing in Santa Maria, where officials are hopeful that this will help stop the rising rate of infection. Regular Herpes testing in Santa Maria is also encouraged, especially for students who are typically the most at risk.
Demographics and STD Testing
Its location next to the Pacific Ocean makes this a great place to surf and work on your tan, but this relaxed atmosphere is also contributing to the city’s problems with STDs. It can be difficult to get residents to pay attention to the growing health problem when all they want to do is spend time outside.
This is not to say that residents do not care about their sexual health or that of others simply that until recently nothing was being done to educate them about the risks. Now that the state has required that all public school districts include comprehensive and medically accurate information in its sex education program, officials are hopeful that they will soon see the number of residents that test positive each year start to decline.
The city’s location also brings in a large number of beach goers and surfers each year, and many of them have never been tested for a STD. Since many of these transmittable diseases do not display immediate symptoms it can be difficult to tell if someone is infected. This alone makes regular STD testing an important part of anyone’s health care routine.
A rising number of residents are now using illicit drugs, and this risky behavior is being blamed for the sudden increase in Syphilis rates. Other factors include a shortage of testing centers, along with an inability for some residents to pay for the procedure. While the state is still working on ways for everyone to get the care that they need, it is your responsibility to take care of your own sexual health.
Better Sexual Health with STD Testing
Taking a few minutes from the beach or your other daily activities to be tested for all the STDs is important not just for your health, but that of those around you. If you don’t have time to spend the day in a crowded clinic but still want to get tested, there is a faster and easier way. You can schedule confidential STD testing with just a phone call and only spend a few minutes at a local lab. This way you can take care of your sexual health and still have plenty of time to spend at the beach.