One of the oldest cities in the south not only is Charleston known for its charm, but also its high rate of STDs. The CDC recently released statistics that show the number of sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise, and it seems to be affecting all residents regardless of their race, gender or age.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea rates are increasing in the city and county, along with Herpes and Syphilis, and statistics show that this has been occurring over the past twenty years. While the incident rates for these sexually transmitted diseases are increasing at an alarming rate, there are still some in the city that refuse to believe that there is a potential health epidemic on their hands. In an effort to backup their belief that STDs are not a problem in the charming southern city, they refer to the statistics that indicate HIV/AIDS diagnoses are on the decline.
Even though HIV incidents have decreased significantly between 2003 and 2014 in all demographical groups, the steady increase in other STDs are a pointed indicator that the city is stilling dealing with a serious health problem. Some of the statistics that indicate Charleston is dealing with a potential STD epidemic include,
- In 2003 there were 6,290 African American women diagnosed with Chlamydia compared to 9,054 reported incidents in 2014.
- 47 percent of the Chlamydia diagnoses in 2014 were reported in African American residents.
- There were 2,516 total cases of Chlamydia reported in 2012 compared to 2,807 incidents in 2014.
- 2,005 African American men were diagnosed with Gonorrhea in 2013, compared to 2,156 in 2014.
With statistics showing that the use of condoms has declined almost ten percent in teens from 2005 to 2011 and an estimated half of all high school students in the city admitting that they were sexually active, it is vital for their health and safety that they have all of the information they need to protect themselves from STDs.
While more teens and even middle school students are becoming sexually active at a younger age city leaders are still reluctant to admit that there is a problem, and are relying on the outdated abstinence only program to keep area youth safe. Even though abstaining from sex is the best way to prevent unplanned pregnancies, it has very little effect on the STD rates in the city.
Most students do not even realize that they are at risk, and the dwindling number of teens who use protection is a good indicator that there is not enough information easily available for them to take advantage of. This, combined with a general reluctance on the part of teachers and parents to even discuss STDs is making it extremely difficult for teens to know how to protect themselves.
Regular Herpes testing in Charleston is the only way to prevent the spread of this virus that is common in area schools. Regular HIV testing in Charleston is also critical to stop the spread of this potentially deadly disease. As school and city officials try to come up with a comprehensive sexual education plan, students and their parents can protect themselves simply by getting tested.
Founded in 1670, this historic southern city has a broad demographical makeup that is contributing to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
There are several factors that are making it difficult for health officials to stress the importance of education and regular testing as the best ways to prevent the spread of STDs, but the main hurdle they face is the strong reluctance many residents have to even discuss the problem.
The conservative beliefs make it difficult for many of the city’s residents to admit that there is a problem, and most parents still do not believe that there is any need to educate their children on the dangers of having unprotected sex.
Adding to the city’s health problem is the lack of comprehensive sexual education programs, along with a limited number of clinics in lower income neighborhoods. When this is combined it often results in the high STD rates as evident by the recently released statistics.
While budget cuts to health care programs has made it more difficult for residents to get tested, the main contributing factor to the high STD rate continues to be the lack of information. When residents do not even realize that they are at risk it is impossible for them to adequately protect themselves.
Known for its tree lined cobble streets and horse drawn carriage rides, Charleston is also becoming famous for its high rate of STDs, which makes it vital for your continued good health to get tested for all of the sexually transmitted diseases on a regular basis. There are community health centers that residents can take advantage of, but many do not want to spend hours waiting in long lines. You can easily avoid the long wait and still get tested with one simple phone call. Instead of spending all day in a crowded clinic you can schedule confidential STD testing and only spend a few minutes at a local lab, which still gives you plenty of time to explore this fascinating southern city.