Additional STD Test Statistics in Chicago Heights, IL
Within the state of Illinois, there has been an increase in Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis. There has also been an increase in HIV and AIDS. According to the State and County Specific HIV and AIDS Incidence and Prevalence Update as of March 2017 there were 108 new HIV cases and 34 new AIDS cases in Cook county. This is an increase of 22.7% for HIV cases and 11.7% for AIDS.
Cook County had 915 reported case of syphilis in 2015, 11,082 of gonorrhea and 39,539 of chlamydia. The only county that reported more in the United States was Los Angeles county. In Lake County visits to STI testing centers have increased by 90% since 2012.
As of 2014 the projected growth rate for Chlamydia cases was 413.9 per a 100,000 population. The rate for non-Hispanic Blacks was ten times higher than for non-Hispanic Whites and 3 times greater than the rate for Hispanics. The rates were also highest among 20-24-year-old females. However, when compared to the rates in Chicago and the United States overall, the growth rate for Chlamydia cases was lower.
The rate of growth for Gonorrhea decreased from 2014 to 2015 within Cook County and was lower than the projected outcome. The projected outcome was 257.0 per a 100,000 population and the actual outcome was 213.0 per a 100,000 population. The highest rates were in females aged 20-24 years. The rate for non-Hispanic Blacks was 25 times higher than the rate for non-Hispanic Whites and almost 10 times higher than the rate for Hispanics.
The growth rate for Primary and Secondary Syphilis has remained somewhat even since 2005. The rate of growth was 3.0 per a 100,000 population. 88% of the cases were male. This fell below the expected outcome. 58% of the cases reported in 2014 were non-Hispanic Black, 22% were non-Hispanic White, and 17% were Hispanic.
STD Testing and Sexual Health Education in Chicago Heights, IL
Chicago Heights benefits from being near several educational resources pertaining to STI’s and HIV/AIDS. One such resource is the McKinley Health Center which is located within the city of Urbana. While Urbana is two hours away, they offer workshops as a service to those wishing to hold them. They also offer resources online, walk in appointments, and condom distribution.
Also located about an hour away is Angles for Sexual Health, Identity, and Education. They provide health care for youth up to the age of 25, education for children ages 5-12, and a variety of activities and services for teens who identify as questioning, transgender, lesbian, gay, or bisexual. They also provide clinics and counseling and have a Pride Youth Program for LGBTQ teens. Their Health Education gives fact based information to Junior and High school students.
Within the local system, students are facing the same issue as in other schools across the country. However, educators in Illinois seem to be more determined to teach medically sound facts than those in some other states. In August of 2013 Bill HB 2675 was passed. This piece of legislation prohibits abstinence only education within public schools. If schools decide to not include comprehensive information they can choose to not have a sexual education course at all.
The most accessible place to get free condoms is Planned Parenthood in Roseland. They also provide comprehensive educational resources. These cover sexual health, contraceptives, and preventative measures to avoid contracting an STI or HIV/AIDS.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Demographics in Chicago Heights, IL
Men are more impacted by STI’s and HIV / AIDS than females. In 2014 there were 950 male cases reported in Cook County. Female cases were fewer by more than half. Males also had a lower graduation rate in comparison to females. In 2015, there were 63,222 male graduates in comparison to 89,973 female graduates.
Additionally, Black, non-Hispanics also had a lower graduation rate, falling below White, non-Hispanics and Latinos. In 2015, there were 77,048 White, non-Hispanic graduates, 21,948 Latino graduates, and 21,442 Black, non-Hispanic graduates. The Black, non-Hispanic graduation rate was only around 14% in comparison to the White, non-Hispanic rate which was 53.5%. This low graduation rate could possibly correlate with the high amount of Black, non-Hispanic males infected with STI’s and HIV / AIDS.
Unlike other areas within the Unites States, there did not seem to be a correlation between ethnicity / poverty and the HIV rate. For example, White, non-Hispanics make up the greatest demographic of those living below the poverty level. However, there are 6.4 times more Black, non-Hispanic males within the state living with a disease and 18.7 more Black, non-Hispanic females.
There could also be a correlation between the number of Chlamydia cases reported and the fact that White, non-Hispanics make up the greatest number of individuals living below poverty level. In 2012, 832 cases of Chlamydia were reported in relation to White, Non-Hispanics. This ethnic demographic had 713 individuals living below the poverty level.
STI Testing Resources in Chicago Heights, IL
There is the Northwestern Medicine clinic. They offer a broad range of testing services. They take most major insurances and provide convenient online appointment making and online check-in. They are opened seven days a week, however hours vary. They are located about 46 minutes away.
In Cook County, there is the Department of Public Health North District Office. This location offers resources for those who believe that may have been infected with STI’s and/or HIV / AIDS. The department is run by a leadership team of several professionals. While there are no office hours available on their website, multiple phone numbers are listed that can be called in order to set up an appointment for the clinic.
Renz Addiction Counseling Center is located about an hour away. There are three locations, but the closest one is in Elgin. They offer HIV testing and counseling. To make an appointment or seek advice as to how to proceed with testing, individuals are encouraged to call or email the center. They accept most major insurances.
Project Vida Incorporated is located within the city of Illinois. They offer services to those infected with HIV/AIDS. They provide both individual and family counseling as well as a food pantry. They also offer free condoms and medical case management.
Mount Sinai Hospital is also located within the city of Chicago. They offer free HIV testing and all testing is open to the public. There is a fee for other forms of tests. Clients are served on a walk-in basis. For some tests you must already be a patient at the hospital.
Finally, the closest Planned Parenthood is in Roseland, which is about a 28-minute drive south. They offer testing for all major STI’s and have counseling available. They accept many major insurances. Individuals who are aged 19-26 who have no health insurance and meet certain criteria can qualify for Gardasil at no extra charge.
This Planned Parenthood tests for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia using urine samples. Most of their STI tests also require a genital exam. Rapid HIV testing can be done by swabbing the inside of the patient’s mouth and with results in as little as 10 minutes. They offer counseling for those whose tests come back positive.
Better Sexual Health in Chicago Heights, IL
Chicago Heights has adequate resources, testing, and treatment for the population it has. While there has been an increase in STI’s throughout the state, this does not seem to be from a lack of information provided both in an academic and medical setting. Educational curriculum supports and advocates abstinence, while also promoting being smart when becoming sexually active. While there is no Planned Parenthood within the city limits of Chicago Heights, there is a center in a nearby Roseland. Demographics and statistics suggest that African Americans are most likely to contract an STI. Regardless of the statistics, the best way to prevent STI’s is to either remain abstinent or practice safe sex with your partner. Chicago Heights also provides several online resources that help educate about STI’s. One of which is: http://www.youthaidscoalition.org/std-testing-in-chicago-heights-il.html
As always, if you believe you have contracted an STI, please search out a testing center and seek treatment.