The CDC and Hamilton County Health Department recently released statistics highlight the STD rates in the capitol city and metro area. Over the last twenty years the number of sexually transmitted diseases reported each year has been rising, and this includes the suburban community of Carmel.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea cases are rising, especially among teens and young adults. African American women accounted for a majority of new incidents, followed closely by men. Residents ages 18 to 22 have the highest risk, but this statistics is expected to change if the number of new cases reported in adults over 24 years old continues to increase at its current rate.
All types of infection Syphilis are also increasing, according to the latest statistics. Caucasian and African American males account for the majority of new cases. While these rising STD rates are concerning what really have local health and CDC officials worried are the rapidly rising HIV rates. In 2015 these rates were declared an “emergency” as 140 new HIV cases were reported in a 12 month period.
HIV rates are rising across all demographics regardless of age or sexual inclination. Pregnant women are among those that are testing positive more often, and this is particularly alarming to health officials. The CDC notes that in 85 percent of the new HIV cases the individual also testing positive for Hepatitis C.
Some of the other statistics that highlight the growing STD problem in the area, along with the need for regular testing include,
- There were 514 incidents of Chlamydia reported in the county in 2014, and women accounted for the majority of cases.
- In the twelve month period from 2014 to 2015 there were 140 new HIV cases reported in the county.
- Statistics for 2015 showed that the number of Syphilis incidents were on the rise.
State, local and even student newspapers all have headlines declaring that STD rates are out of control, and that main cause is the lack of sex education. Even with these headlines and the CDC statistics showing the rising trend in STDs state and local law makers are still reluctant to change the current laws regarding what can be taught in the classroom.
Currently state law does not even require public schools to offer sex education, but if they do the material must be abstinence based. This means that students aren’t taught how to protect themselves from STDs, only that they are “bad people” if they have sex before marriage. This information, and the way that it is presented”, is being blamed for the dramatic increases in the STD rates in the area.
Federal law does require that all public schools provide information on how STDs and HIV is spread, how much time is spent on this important topic is left up to the individual districts. In some cases it could only be pamphlets that are handed out to the students.
This means that the majority of students don’t know that regular Herpes testing in Carmel could prevent this virus from spreading throughout are high schools. They also don’t understand how important regular HIV is in Carmel, especially since the infection rates are on the rise.
The lack of comprehensive sex education is one of the main contributing factors to the rising teen pregnancy and STD rates, but it is not the only one. Including information on contraceptives, condom use and the importance of regular testing can help to lower the STD rates in teens, along of the number pregnancies.
Sexually transmitted diseases are not only increasing in frequency in teens, but older adults as well. Dating apps are making it easier for people to meet, and many of these encounters wind up involving sexual activity. Not only are these apps making it easier for young people to “hook up”, but older adults as well. Most of the city’s senior citizens have never received any type of sex education and do not realize that their behavior could be putting them at risk.
When it comes to the rising Syphilis and HIV rates the increasing number of teens and adults that are using intravenous drugs is being blamed as the main contributing factor. Simply sharing needles with friends and family members can dramatically increase their chances for contracting HIV or Syphilis. The increase in intravenous drug use is also being blamed for the rising number of residents that test positive for Hepatitis C.
Until these and other issues are resolved this bedroom community can expect to see its STD rates continue to rise.
This fast growing suburban community has something for everyone, including a high STD rate. This means that it is important for residents to take a few minutes and stop in at a neighborhood STI clinic. It is understandable if you don’t want to spend the day waiting in a long line, and now there is a faster and easily way to take care of your sexual health. With one simple phone call you can schedule confidential STD testing and only spend a few minutes of your time at a nearby lab. This way you still have plenty of time to explore the city’s restaurants, shops and art galleries.