While an initial glance at the STD rates for the area might not seem that high when compared to state and national averages, it should be pointed out that this is a less populated community. This is why a Gonorrhea incident rate of 42.7 in 2012 is still alarming, even when it is compared to the state average infection rate of 141.03.
The statistics are proving that even smaller cities and more rural counties are also dealing with high STD rates, and that everyone is potentially at risk.
Some of the statistics that has city and county health officials worried includes;
- In 2010 the HIV rate for the county was 120.9 per 100,000 residents.
- Gonorrhea rates did decrease significantly between 2003 and 2011, but with an incident rate of 36.9 per 100,000 residents testing is still important for continued good health.
- In 2012 the Gonorrhea rate had risen to 42.7 percent.
- Chlamydia incidents have been steadily climbing with a rate of 206.5 per 100,000 residents in 2003 compared to 288.1 in 2011.
- The majority of Chlamydia diagnoses occur in teens and young adults.
In answer to the state’s rising STD rates the governor has signed a bill that requires public schools to teach students about safe sex, though abstinence based programs are also included in the program. With the number of sexually transmitted diseases rising each year, city and state health officials are hopeful that the new education program will have a positive effect on the STD rates in the coming years.
While abstinence can prevent a pregnancy, it does not protect teens against all sexually transmittable diseases. When teens are at risk, it also increases the chances of adults contracting a STD. Not all sexually transmitted infections are spread through intercourse, and even more alarming not every disease displays immediate symptoms. This often results in more than one person becoming infected, which could be easily prevented with STD testing.
Regular Herpes testing in Aurora is important, and can help stop the spread of this easily transmitted virus. Regular HIV testing in Aurora is also needed.
While the policies are becoming less conservative, making it easy for teens and adults to find the information they need about the spread of STDs, the high rates of infection show that residents are not getting tested regularly. Part of this is due to a lack of available community health centers, but city officials are working on ways to increase the number of clinics.
Lower income families often find it difficult to afford regular STD testing, and forces many residents to put off this important health step. There are also misconceptions and stereotypes concerning certain sexually transmitted diseases firmly in place, which is also contributing to the area’s rising STD rates.
Many teens and adults also believe that an STD will never happen to them, and often don’t see the need for regular testing. With the ability of some viral infections to be spread through casual contact, everyone needs to understand how important it is to include the simple test as a part of a healthy lifestyle.
Even though the conservative policies and politics are relaxing, many teens and young adults still find it difficult to admit that they are sexually active. This can also lead to a reluctance to be tested regularly, for fear of being seen at a health clinic.
Ignoring the problems that come with STDs won’t make them disappear, but you don’t have to give-up an afternoon at a public HIV/AIDS center. STI clinics are available throughout Chicago, and a few keep weekend hours. Get your test results in a couple of hours, and rest assured that your privacy is protected. You might even be able to get anonymous STD testing on your way to the glamorous Paramount Theatre.