In between visits to the Kern County and Buena Vista Museums it is also important to stop in at one of the STD clinics in Bakersfield, California to be tested for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Herpes, Hepatitis B, C, Syphilis, and HIV. While there are free STD testing centers , the increasing number of residents who are contracting a sexually transmitted disease is causing long lines and annoying waits at the city’s clinics. Now you can schedule private STD testing with one simple phone call and only spend 15 to 20 minutes at the local lab, which still gives you plenty of time to visit the museums and see the exhibits at the Buck Owens Crystal Palace.
Recently released statistics show that Bakersfield and surrounding Kern County are currently experiencing an increase in the number of reported STDs, and health officials are worried that these percentages will only continue to rise.
Over the past twenty years, STD rates significantly rise, especially among teens and young adults. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea diagnoses continue to be well above the state averages, and cases of primary and secondary Syphilis continue to rise. Since these numbers are expected to climb, it has never been so important to get tested regularly for any of the sexually transmitted diseases.
The statistics show that it is not only teens and young adults who are at risk of contracting a STD, but also men between the ages of 25 to 39. African American men and women are also among the highest groups for testing positive for a sexually transmitted disease, and young males are also contracting Gonorrhea at an alarming rate.
Some of the numbers that have city and county health officials worried include;
- In 2009 there were 6,596 reported cases of STDs in Bakersfield and Kern County compared to 8,885 new diagnoses in 2013.
- Between 2009 and 2013 the state saw a 6.8 percent increase in its STD rate compared to the 25.8 percent rise reported by Kern County during the same 5 year period.
- Gonorrhea diagnoses rose from an estimated rate of 100 in 2005 to almost doubling among men in 2014.
While the city does follow the state guidelines for sexual education programs in its public school system, the rising number of teens and young adults who test positive for a STD indicates that more needs to be done to educate students on the dangers of unprotected sex.
Some of the problem stems from videos and other media sources that highlight the pleasure associated with sexual intercourse, while neglecting to mention the dangers inherent in having unprotected sex. The fact that Kern County and Bakersfield rank highest for its rate of teenage girls who test positive for Chlamydia shows that the stream of sexually explicated media is outweighing the dangers associated with unprotected sex students learn in school.
Many parents are also uncomfortable discussing sex and STDs with their children, and it is not uncommon for students to opt out of taking the sexual education classes offered in school. Teens also have the unfortunate habit of believing that a STD can never happen to them, even when they are engaging in risky behavior.
Regular STD testing is also important for teens and young adults even if they use protection during intercourse. Not all STDs are transmitted through sexual activity, and some may not display any symptoms until it is too late. Regular Herpes testing in Bakersfield can prevent the spread of the infectious virus between students, and it can even stop embarrassing sores from forming. Regular HIV testing in Bakersfield is also important, especially considering you may not display any signs or symptoms until it has turned into full blown AIDS.
Demographics will always play a role in STD statistics, and this includes ethnicity, religion, income, age, and gender. Where you live can also play a role in STD rates, especially in rural areas that might be lacking in the number of available health clinics.
Bakersfield and surrounding Kern County are experiencing a shortage of clinics which can make it difficult for some residents to get tested regularly, especially those living in more rural areas. Young adults and teens are often resistant to the idea of health screenings, and the long lines at the clinics have many students putting of this important test.
Lower income families often find it difficult to afford regular health screenings, and these same individuals are frequently involved in risky behaviors that can increase their chances of contracting a STD.
Religious and cultural beliefs can also cause sexually transmitted disease rates to rise. The high number of practicing Catholics that advocate abstinence can make it difficult for teens to admit that they are sexually active, and the shame many residents feel when they contract a STD can also cause percentages to rise.
Even with the education programs that are in place in the public schools, it is still not enough to lower the STD rate until everyone is tested regularly. With the increasing number of drug use in Bakersfield, along with a shortage of community health centers, county and city health officials cannot stress enough the importance of being tested regularly for any sexually transmitted disease.
Before you visit one of Bakersfield’s fabulous museums it is important to take a few minutes and take care of your sexual health. While there are several health centers in the city, the long lines and fear of running into a familiar face has many residents looking for another option. Now you can easily schedule confidential STD testing with one quick phone call, and only spend 20 minutes in a local lab. This way you can avoid the long lines and any friends and neighbors, and still have plenty of time to enjoy all that the beautiful city has to offer.