There is a lot to see and do in Columbus, OH. A trip to the German Village, the Wexner Center for the Arts or visiting the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium provide great entertainment for locals and visitors alike. Amidst its grandeur, the city, like many others is experiencing a growing concern over rising STD rates. Officials take the health of the public seriously and are making an effort to increase awareness and resources to curb the epidemic. STD clinics offer private STD testing for those in the area which include screening for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B and C, Herpes, Syphilis and HIV/AIDS. Free STD testing centers are also available in Columbus, Ohio, providing services with fees that are based on income levels. Ordering STD testing is fast and easy and it only takes 15 to 20 minutes of your time to visit a local lab.
The Center for Disease Control collects demographic data on STD testing performed in hospitals and clinics across the United States. The data is broken down into specific regions in order to get an idea of which groups are at the highest risks for contracting STDs. Confidentiality of the people tested is secured and only generic information with no identifying markers is used. The following is a breakdown of the statistics gathered for the Columbus, Ohio rates of STD infection per 100,000.
- Chlamydia- 460.3
- Gonorrhea- 142.9
- Syphilis- 3.7
- HIV/AIDS- .122
The high numbers of Chlamydia infections place this STD at the top of the most prevalent list, followed by Gonorrhea, Syphilis and HIV/AIDS. Data regarding Hepatitis A,B and C was not available as of this time, but the past decade has seen a dramatic decrease in its incidences in this region. While this may sound like good news, there are two sides to the discussion. Numbers are down and that is the good news. The bad news is that public health officials believe that over 50% of all Hepatitis A,B and C cases are going unreported because people do not realize that they have contracted these diseases. This is not a new trend so there is some proof that headway is being made in reducing the numbers of people who become affected or who experience long term health adversity due to Hepatitis in its many forms.
The lack of STD testing in people who are at the greatest risk is due to a lack of awareness and education. Recent statistics on the decrease in Hepatitis infections shows that education along with the implementation of national, state and local initiatives to provide vaccine and increased public awarness has cut the numbers drastically. Hepatitis A diagnoses are down 50% with B decreased by 27% and C down by 50%. This is an example of how education and action work together to help halt the spread of STDs, but more is needed.
When people know that they are at a high risk for developing health problems, they are more likely to get testing and when needed, treatment. The groups of people who are not aware that they are at risk may not give STD testing a thought. They may be infected without even knowing it. This causes a more widespread passing of the disease to others and the results can be an explosion of a new epidemic if it is not successfully dealt with.
Political leaders for the state have passed initiatives that provide for an infusion of sexual health education into the public school curriculum. This gets the facts and needed information about consequences of unsafe sex directly in front of students, in many cases, just prior to the age when they are most likely to become sexually active. They are also made aware that there is HIV testing, Herpes testing and screening for all other types of STDs available in the city of Columbus, Ohio.
Socioeconomic status, age, gender and ethnicity appear to be factors that are influential in predicting who is at the greatest risk for contracting STD infection. Poverty is believed to be an indirect cause of the high rate of STDs in the city. A lack of education and exposure to the facts that are commonly shared in public sponsored forums are often not attended by citizens who have limited resources. Some of the most impoverished areas have high concentrations of ethnic minority populations which have among the highest rates of STD infection. Black males, followed by Black females and Hispanic males are among those who are at the greatest risk.
To further compound this situation, people who have limited financial resources may not be able to afford the costs associated with standard STD testing. While there are free STD testing centers available, many of them are offered on a set amount of funding and when the funds are exhausted, there may be a waiting period until the funding cycle completes and is replenished by the sponsoring agencies.
Another high risk group includes those between the ages of 15 to 24, and females in particular. This group shows the highest incidence of Chlamydia infection with data that shows 49 percent of people in this age group have had sexual intercourse without protection.
Columbus, Ohio is a city that is filled with fun and interesting places to see and things to do. The city welcomes people from all walks of life. While STD rates are a concern, anyone who is at risk can get confidential STD testing in a comfortable and convenient setting. It doesn’t take up much of your time to order your testing, visit the local lab for testing, and be on your way to seeing some of the sights that the city has to offer. You’ll gain peace of mind and get the results that you need so you won’t have to wonder about your sexual health. STD testing is a matter of good common sense for everyone who may have been exposed to infection. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to keep your health at its absolute best.