The CDC and Orange County Health Department recently released statistics showing that the number of sexually transmitted infections reported each year is rising, and has been for the past two decades.
In 2015 the STD rate in the state reached an all-time 25 year high, and this includes those for the city. The infection rates are highest in the 15 to 22 year age bracket, though older residents are also testing positive more often for some of the sexually transmitted diseases. What health officials want to point out is that STDs can infect anyone regardless of age.
Women ages 20 to 24 are among those with the greatest risk for contracting Chlamydia, followed closely by teens. African American and Hispanic women test positive more often than other demographics, though the statistics show that this might be changing. In the last ten years Native American females have seen a significant increase in Chlamydia incidents, and this is also true regarding Gonorrhea in men.
African and Native American men ages 20 to 29 have the greatest risk for contracting Gonorrhea. Since 2011 the rates for this sexually transmitted disease has been steadily rising, and the statistics indicate that this is not expected to change anytime soon. Syphilis rates are also increasing in older men at an alarming rate, especially Hispanic and African American males over the age of 25.
Some of the statistics that highlight the importance of regular STD testing include,
- Since 2011 the Syphilis rate for men in the county has more than doubled, according to 2015 health department statistics.
- Out of the 11,377 reported cases of Chlamydia in the county, women accounted for 65.9 percent.
- In 2011 the congenital Syphilis rate was reported at 2.6 percent, compared to 10.5 percent in 2015.
The 2015-2016 school year marked the start of the state’s new sex education policy. Public school districts are now required to teach medically accurate and comprehensive sex education, and it cannot be abstinence based. This does not mean that abstinence won’t still be encouraged, only that it will no longer be taught as the best way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
While this is a positive step towards lowering not only the STD rates, but also the number of teen pregnancies reported annually, there are still a few problems. It is these problems that are leaving teens unprepared to deal with the risks and responsibilities associated with being sexually active.
Budget cuts to education has left many school districts unable to afford the material required, and this means that students aren’t receiving all of the information they need to protect themselves from sexually transmittable diseases. The state also does not have an oversight committee in place so there is no way of knowing if the various school districts are following the new guidelines.
Students are still not learning about the importance of regular Herpes testing in Buena Park, even though this is the best way to stop the spread of the contagious virus. The importance of regular HIV testing in Buena Park is discussed, but the rising incident rate indicates that not everyone is following this advice. If everyone started to take responsibility for their sexual health the number of STDs reported annually would finally start to decease.
There are several factors contributing to the city’s high STD rates that include it close proximity to LA. Consider part of the larger city’s metro area, and home to several popular tourist destinations, the steady influx of visitors can put the sexual health of residents at risk. Many have never been tested for STDs, and some might be infected without realizing it. This is actually a problem for suburban cities across the country.
Even though sex education is now required in all public schools, the city has not been able to afford all of the new material. This is resulting in teens not getting the information they need to adequately protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases. Adding to the problem is the wealth of misinformation regarding the effectiveness of condoms and how STDs are spread.
The state’s health care system has also seen severe budget cuts, and this has forced many of the city’s STI clinics to close their doors. Residents are now finding it difficult to find a convenient place to get tested, and when they do the long lines often have them looking for another option. The loss of Medicaid funding for STD testing is also being blamed for the skyrocketing STD rates.
With its scenic parks and award winning restaurants it can be hard to believe that this picturesque city is dealing with rising STD rates. These rates have now reached 25 year highs, and this means that it is important to get tested for STDs on a regular basis. It is understandable if you don’t want to spend the day waiting in long lines, and now there is a faster and easier way for you to take care of your sexual health. With one simple phone call you can schedule confidential STD testing and only spend a few minutes at a local lab. This way you’ll even have time to visit the famous Knott’s Berry Farm.