Located in the second wealthiest county many residents of Columbia believe that this problem does not affect them. According to Howard County and CDC statistics this is simply not the case and the residents of this affluent community are actually at a high risk for contracting any of the commonly transmitted infections.
Syphilis diagnoses are also occurring more frequently in older male residents, and the same is also true for HIV. In 2015 there were 400 cases of HIV reported in the county and this should be enough to convince residents of the importance of regular visits to a STI clinic.
Some of the other statistics that indicate the growing STD problem in the city and county include,
- In 2011 the HIV prevalence rate was listed at 163 per 100,000 residents, compared to 169 in 2015.
- The Syphilis rate for the county is 2.4 per 100,000 residents which are considered “worse” according to the government.
When it comes to sex education in Maryland each county is responsible for designing and implementing its own program. The only guidelines counties need to follow are that these education classes must include information on all STDs, along with how having sex can effect and change students’ lives. The programs should also reflect the views and beliefs of the county, and in Howard this means that the sex education program promotes abstinence.
Parental permission is also required for students to participate in the classes.
The affluent community of Columbia mistakenly believes that sexually transmitted diseases are not a problem for their students, and that the only information they need in their classes pertains to the benefits of abstinence. Even though abstinence can and does prevent unplanned pregnancies, it does little to stop the spread of all of the STDs.
It is also not uncommon for parents to decide that their children are better off not learning about the responsibilities associated with being sexually active, and this means that the majority will never learn about the importance of regular STI testing.
Regular Herpes testing in Columbia is especially important for high school students, since they present the highest risk for infection. Regular HIV testing in Columbia is vital for everyone’s safety, and the simple procedure is also the only sure method currently available to accurately detect the virus.
Since the city is actually comprised of 10 planned communities the demographics are a little different in Columbia. It is considered one of the wealthiest communities in the country, and this also includes the surrounding county.
Instead many residents simply believe that a STD will never affect them, and that these viruses are problems in other communities. Considering the high STD rate in the area, it should be clear to residents that this is not the case. As long as they believe that they are safe from all STDs and do not get tested on a regular basis the disease rates will continue to rise.
One surprising reason for the city’s high STD rate is the growing problem with illicit drugs among older residents. This is also being blamed for the increase in Syphilis diagnoses, and it is quickly becoming another problem that city leaders need to address.
Don’t presume that you’re safe from STDs. This is how they continue to be an issue. STI clinics have multiple advantages over HIV centers and mobile testing. Privacy is rarely a concern, and same day results are often offered. Get tested and still enjoy your day in this fascinating community.