Rates for the spread of sexually transmitted diseases are a big concern in Brooklyn as they are with all the boroughs in New York City. Rates for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have all experienced a recent increase which has city health officials worried about the state of the health of their city today as well as its prospects for the future.
Chlamydia is perhaps one of the fastest growing STDs today and women are far more likely to contract the condition than men, making sex industry workers especially vulnerable. Younger women are also more likely to contract the disease than older women and many experts point to this as a need for more pervasive sexual education via outreach programs and public service announcements in the community.
Rates throughout New York City have been on the rise for years alongside changes in how these diseases are reported. In a study of case increases and methods of reporting from 1994 to 2013, the department of Health saw an increase in reporting one through private doctors and specialized clinics. This reflects a growing sense of personal responsibility among all New Yorkers as they have begun to frequent low cost or free STD clinics less often and instead turning to Private STD Testing.
With rates for STDs climbing, one of the most effective forms of prevention is education. The New York State Board of Education has adopted a fairly comprehensive and far reaching approach when it comes to sex education. The program support and advocates for abstinence but also arms students with an understanding of how to use a condom and details on national averages on things like when young adult lose their virginity and rates on teenage pregnancy and the spread of STDs.
Brooklyn based Planned Parenthood offices also offer instruction on sexual health and detailed information on options for birth control. They offer services and advice to people on a sliding scale which makes them a better alternative for people who still lack insurance or who aren’t covered for reproductive health under their current plan. Planned Parenthood also offers regular workshops including programs like “Taking Care of You” and Teen Advocacy which aims to help young adults learn how to stand up for themselves more effectively and make better decisions when it comes to relationships and sex.
Herpes has been on the rise nationally for years and Brooklyn isn’t immune. New York City has been cited as being higher than the national average when it comes to the spread of herpes with current estimates stating 1 in 4 New Yorkers carry the virus. Herpes testing isn’t always conducted during the course of other tests as people feel it’s a condition they don’t need to worry about but the truth is that herpes can complicate other conditions and make a person more vulnerable to other illnesses such as colds or the flu.
HIV and AIDS testing are, by this point, a matter of routine for most STD clinics. Obtaining an HIV test in Brooklyn is fairly easy and can be done on most doctor’s offices as well as reproductive health clinics. HIV testing has been heavily promoted through the Brooklyn Known health initiative by the New York Department of Health. The program encourages all residents to take advantage of low cost or free STD testing or HIV testing through a private clinic.
Although STDs and overall sexual health affects every person in Brooklyn, there are certain people who are more at risk. People living in areas where poverty is the norm are much less likely to stay in school or to get involved with sexual education programs aimed at adults. Younger people are also less likely to worry about disease as they often feel like just about anything can be cured.
But the stark reality is that with STDs on the rise, the health of the city becomes increasingly at risk. Chronic STDs like herpes and chlamydia can be effectively treated but early detection is key. Left too long these conditions can affect not only the overall health of a person, but their future health as well.
At the same time, health care options within Brooklyn are becoming more difficult to find in spite of the number of STD clinics available. He demand on these clinics has risen and many people find themselves stuck with no convenient option when it comes to obtaining a quick and confidential STD test.
Today there are more ways than ever for people to take control of their own health and sexual well-being. With clinics that offer drop in appointments and quick testing times, Brooklyn residents can swing by and get an STD test done privately and confidentially without it taking up their entire day.
These tests should be done regularly for all adults who are sexually active, even if they believe their chance for infection is minimal. As with so many other conditions, early detection is the best hope for fast and effective treatment and getting checked out also gives you peace of mind. Brooklyn is a resilient town filled with people who know that working hard means playing hard, too. Taking control of your sexual health and getting an STD test takes less than twenty minutes and once it’s done, you can kick back and ‘fuhgeddaboudit’ and get on with your life.
Disclaimer: Safer STD Testing and it’s testing partners provide private (not anonymous) STD testing for all of it’s patients. Your information and results are retained on record strictly protected in full compliance with the applicable state and federal privacy laws.