The western city of Abilene, TX is acknowledging that the community does need to begin focusing more closely on the rising STDs rates that seem to be affecting more women and young men. Recent studies are noticing a distinct increase in the number of reported cases of Chlamydia and HIV in recent years, while fewer residents are getting tested regularly. Some of the data released includes,
- HIV rates increased from 9.3 to 10.2 in 100,000 residents from 2009-2011.
- Chlamydia cases have been rising steadily since 2004 with 673 cases reported in 2010.
- 93,423 women were infected with Chlamydia in 2011.
- In 2011, 28,992 men were diagnosed with Chlamydia.
A 2004 poll conducted in Abilene, TX showed that almost 90 percent of residents were in favor of teaching abstinence only sex education classes to high school students. The latest statistics are showing that this approach is not working and teenage pregnancies, along with reported cases of STDs are currently on the rise. In response to the rising numbers the city’s independent school district has implemented a new 10 day program.
The newly implemented sex education program is being offered to younger students, and will begin to explain the changes that happen to their bodies during puberty. Not only will the 10 day class cover self esteem, and other issues that commonly plague teens during puberty, but also the importance of being protected during sex. STD testing and the importance of regularly visiting one of the free clinics is also covered, and the class also teaches the importance of abstinence.
Since the majority of teenagers will not abstain from sexual intercourse, the hope of this program is to teach high school students the importance of being regularly tested. Herpes testing in Abilene is also covered, along with the fact that this viral infection can also appear around the mouth. HIV testing is also important for Abilene teenagers, especially since the deadly infection is on the rise among young men.
Downtown Abilene, Texas has been experiencing an economic boom lately, and this is beginning to show in the larger number of free STD clinics. While this west Texas city does have some issues with poverty rates, the main reason the STD rates are rising simply has to do with a lack of education.
Not only do many parents prefer not to have to deal with this sensitive issue, the state legislature also limits funding for certain extra programs. With more than half of students admitting that they are already sexually active, and the majority of them only being educated on abstinence it is easy to see why the number of reported cases is rising.
While demographics will always play an important role in an area’s STD rates, in Abilene it seems that the main problem is still an unfortunate lack of education of the part of parents and children. Without the necessary information teenagers will not learn the importance of regular testing, along with knowing how to protect themselves from contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
While this western city is trying to improve its sexual education program, this is no reason to put off visiting one of the health clinics. It is possible to have a private STD testing in Abilene, without having to wait in long clinic lines. Not only will getting tested regularly help to protect your general health, it will also prevent any of your partners from becoming infected. If each resident in Abilene, TX was regularly tested the city would not be facing a rising number of STD cases.