With STD rates up across the country the recent statistics released by the CDC did not come as a great surprise to city leaders and health officials. This small city known for its relaxed attitude is currently experiencing a health crisis. For the past twenty years the number of residents who test positive for at least one sexually transmitted disease has been steadily rising, and the statistics show that these rates are only expected to increase.
The data indicates that males are currently among those with the greatest risk, which is surprising to some health officials. The state and city do have comprehensive sexual education programs available and statistics show that this is helping lower infection rates in women, but the same is not true for men between the ages of 15 to 24.
While some officials point out that primary and secondary Syphilis rates are decreasing dramatically in men, since peaking above state averages in 2011, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea incidents are increasing significantly. What this shows is that while one STD may be slowing down, the city is still experiencing a serious health problem.
Some of the data that indicates the city still has a long way to go before all sexually transmitted diseases are under control include,
- Chlamydia rates in men had an incident rate around 200 per 100,000 residents in 2005, compared to a rate of almost 400 per 100,000 residents in 2014.
- In 2014 Gonorrhea incidents in males were almost twice that of state averages.
- Over 46 percent of the women diagnosed with Chlamydia in 2014 were between the ages of 20 to 24.
- 40 percent of the men diagnosed with Syphilis were between the ages
With state STD rates reaching an all time high, law makers have now made it mandatory for all public high schools to offer medically accurate and comprehensive sexual education classes to all students. Unlike the abstinence only programs which just glossed over a few basic facts on HIV prevention, the new classes address all current issues and concerns.
While the new law just went into effect at the start of the year, officials are hopeful that they will soon start to see STD rates decreasing across the state. Some areas are already seeing an improvement in the STD rates in teens and young adults, and this new awareness of the importance of regular testing is being credited with helping to lower Gonorrhea and Chlamydia rates in women.
Even though studies have consistently shown that the best way to protect teens and adults from the dangers of STDs is to be informed, some parents are still resisting the change to the new informative program. With Berkeley’s reputation for free thinking and non conservative values, this reluctance to discuss sex and STDs continues to perplex health officials.
Until everyone is comfortable discussing sex and STDs regular HIV testing in Berkeley remains an important part of taking care of your sexual health. Regular Herpes testing in Berkeley is also important, especially if you want to curb the spread of this virus in area high schools.
There is no denying that demographics play a key role in the STD rates for an area, and this is also true for Berkeley. While residents of the city are typically open minded and have a strong belief in free speech, the majority still find discussions concerning STDs and sex uncomfortable. This inclination to simply ignore the problem in hopes that it will go away is not uncommon, and it is an issue health officials face in cities across the country.
Berkeley is also home to a large accredited college that brings in students from across the country, and many have never been tested for STDs. It is also not uncommon for many new students to be unaware of the dangers associated with sexually transmitted diseases or all of the ways the viruses can be spread.
Its close proximity to San Francisco Bay and its rich history during the 1960’s has also made the city a popular tourist destination. Visitors to the area can already be infected with a sexually transmitted disease, and many do not even realize it until they have put others at risk.
Even with the recent improvements to the sexual education classes in the city’s public schools, residents will continue to be at risk unless they make STD testing a part of their regular health care routine.
With the beautiful San Francisco Bay in the background and home to Berkeley University, it is easy to forget that this laid back city is experiencing the same health crisis as the rest of the state. Recent budget cuts have forced many clinics to close its doors, which can make regular STD testing extremely inconvenient. It is possible to avoid spending the entire day in a crowded waiting room and take care of your sexual health, simply by making one simple phone call. You can easily schedule confidential STD testing and only spend 20 minutes or so of your time at a local lab.