There are numerous different types of STDs that people are diagnosed with in the area. However, some of those STDs are much more common than others. Chlamydia is by far and away the STD that is most often diagnosed. The rate of Chlamydia cases is at about 288.1 cases per 100,000 people. HIV is also fairly prevalent as far as STD rates go and is at about 153.1 cases per 100,000 people. Gonorrhea is also a common STD issues at about 63 cases per 100,000 people. Finally, syphilis is the least common of the STDs in the city and county and is quite rare at around 2 cases per 100,000 people.
These numbers vary a great deal from recent years in the past.
- Between the years of 2010 and 2012, the rates of Chlamydia were much higher at more than 429 cases per 100,000.
This means that the rates are almost half as high now as they were less than a decade ago which shows a great deal of improvement in terms of Chlamydia cases.
- Gonorrhea cases have remained relatively steady though as between 2010 and 2012, cases were at about 59 per every 100,000.
- The major increase is in HIV cases in the area. From 2010 to 2012, the cases were at 9.77 of 100,000 which compared to the 153.1 cases per 100,000 in 2015.
The key is to always remain vigilant about protecting public health.
When it comes to STD testing and prevention, sexual health education is one of the key factors that can make a major difference in the lives of young people and older adults alike. Pennsylvania state law does not stipulate that public schools must provide students with basic sexual education. In 2016, legislation was brought forth to make sexual health education mandatory in schools, but the law failed to pass and the session was adjourned before it could be pushed forward.
The only exception to this lack of rules and regulations is the fact that STD and HIV education is mandatory to teach in school using age appropriate lessons and information. Every local school district is free to determine what materials should be used and what is appropriate at elementary, middle, and high school age ranges.
The information must be medically accurate and have an abstinence focus when it comes to HIV prevention techniques. It is also required that school district allow parents access to the materials and curriculum used in STD and HIV programs so that they can review them and determine whether or not they would like their child to participate in the sexual education.
Of course, the classroom is not the only resource for sexual health education. The school counseling centers in most middle and high schools as well as school nurse’s offices are excellent resources for information. STD clinics and other medical offices can also provide young people as well as adults with the proper information so that citizens learn to take proper care of their reproductive and sexual health.
The relatively low rates of STDs in the area may have a great deal to do with the demographics of the area. The population is at about 74,892 as of mid-year 2015, making it a relatively small city. Of those 74,892 people, around 76.4 percent are of Caucasian descent and about 58.3 are between the ages of 19 and 64, making it a large population of adults rather than young people.
The relatively homogeneous nature of the total demographic population in the city and county may contribute to the lower numbers and rates of sexually transmitted diseases in the area. The median income in the area is also relatively high at over $47,000, meaning that the majority of residents in the area have access to medical care when it is needed.
Around 38 percent of the households were married households in 2010 which was on the increase at the time, meaning the numbers are likely higher today than they were. This too may be a factor in the STD rates being lower in the area than state and national averages.
Even though the area has lower than average STD rates, it is still very important that you take care of yourself and your sexual health. Be sure that you get yourself tested for STDs soon and that you continue to do so on a regular basis from there on out. While you may want to just put it off to another day, procrastination will not get you the answers that you need for your peace of mind.
Remember that you can call ahead and schedule a quick and easy appointment for a HIV test and STD screening that will take less than an hour out of your day. Once you have your results, you can get the treatments that you need if you have a positive test result and you will be able to breathe easy either way just because you have the answer.