Home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens the city of Charlotte, North Carolina is also experiencing an increase in the number of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, C, Herpes, Syphilis, and HIV cases which makes it important to get tested regular at one of the STD clinics. While Charlotte, NC does have free STD testing centers the long lines at the clinics has many residents searching for a more convenient option. Now you can schedule private STD testing with one simple phone call and only spend 15 to 20 minutes at a local lab, which still gives you plenty of time to catch a Carolina Panthers football game.
Located in Mecklenburg County the city of Charlotte is dealing with one of the highest STD rates in the state. Recent statistics show that the number of STDs diagnosed over the past twenty years has been increasing at an alarming pace, and city health officials are worried that the number of residents infected with a sexually transmitted disease will continue to rise.
Between 2012 and 2014 the number of residents who tested positive for HIV rose from 255 to 318, and Gonorrhea infections also increased during the same period. Statistics also showed that Chlamydia diagnosis also rose from a rate of 605.2 percent to 685.2 during the two year period. While some city leaders point out that first and secondary Syphilis case decreased slightly, this is not enough to suggest that it is not important for Charlotte residents to get tested regularly.
Some of the other sobering statistics released by the CDC and Department of Health include;
- In 2010 there were 4,537 new cases of Chlamydia reported in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.
- There were 1,595 residents infected with Gonorrhea in 2010 compared to 2,391 in 2014.
- In 2014 over 41 percent of the new cases of Chlamydia were in young women between the ages of 20-24.
Without regular STD testing Charlotte health officials only expect these numbers to continue to rise, and this includes the number of residents who contract the HIV virus. What is also disturbing to city leaders are the statistics that show STD rates are also high in teens ages 15 to 19.
Unlike many southern cities Charlotte does offer sexual education classes in its public school system. While only a small percentage of the schools teach students about the proper use of a condom, the majority do supply students with the tools they need to find trusted and reliable information regarding the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Unfortunately only a small percentage of the schools provide any preventive information to parents and families of students, which leaves a gap in the education process. When parents are not aware of the risks associated with all sexually transmitted diseases, city officials can expect the STD statistics to continue to rise.
Not all STDs are transmitted strictly through intercourse, and when this information is not readily available the number of new infections will continue to increase in teens and adults. The Herpes virus is especially common in some schools and can be spread through casual contact. This makes it extremely important for parents to understand the importance of regular Herpes testing in Charlotte which can help prevent embarrassing flare ups, along with slowly the spread of the viral infection.
HIV testing in Charlotte is also important for the health of the city, and it is not uncommon for residents to not realize they are infected. Without standardized sex education programs for teens and adults the number of STDs will continue to rise in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.
Demographics do play a role in Charlotte’s high STD rates, along with the lack of standardized sexual education programs. The gay and lesbian community is still subjected to certain stereotypes, which makes many residents hesitant to get tested regularly for STDs.
Charlotte is also experiencing a rise in intravenous drug use, especially among young adults and in lower income neighborhoods. Sharing needles and the risky behaviors that are often associated with this lifestyle is also contributing to the increase in residents with HIV and Syphilis.
Lower income families often find it difficult to afford regular STD testing, and not all health carriers cover this service. Added to the growing problem is the threat to defund some clinics, which will result in fewer facilities offering these important tests. As the number of clinics decreases around the city it will become more difficult for residents to get tested regularly, and health officials expect the STD rates to continue to rise.
Along with financial difficulties and perceived stereotypes, religious beliefs are also affecting the city’s STD rates. Many parents refuse to accept that their teens are sexually active at a younger age, and the lack of information available for families often makes it difficult for anyone to fully appreciate the risks associated with not getting tested regularly.
Until there is enough information available to all residents concerning the dangers of unprotected sex and everyone understands how important it is to get tested regularly, Charlotte will continue to struggle with some of the highest STD rates in the state.
Before you decide to spend the day at the Botanical Gardens or Discovery Place it is important to remember to take care of your sexual health. There are several clinics in Charlotte that provide testing services, but many residents do not want to spend the day standing in long lines or risk running into a friend or family member. Now you can schedule confidential STD testing with a quick phone call and only spend 20 minutes at a local lab. This lets you avoid the long lines and potential embarrassment of running into someone you know, and it still gives you plenty of time to enjoy your day in the beautiful city of Charlotte.