Across the entire continent of the United States, a sharp increase of sexual transmitted diseases including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis is happening. As this issue becomes more problematic, a number of public and government resources have stepped up and really statistical information to provide more insight and meaningful information to help us better combat this issue at hand.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its annual statewide 2013 report outlining the rates of STDs among young people between are a 15 and 24 in Arkansas. Although it is concise this statistical report outlined in the highest rates of STDs by counties within the state overall. According to this report, given a 100,000 population size:
- Faulkner County had an above average chlamydia rate, having a rate of greater than 3,000
- Faulkner Count had a medium rate of gonorrhea, between 300 and 600
- The county had a low syphilis rate of less-than or equal to 2.2
- Overall, when comparing the overall statewide rate to the United States average, Arkansas had a higher rate for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and primary and secondary syphilis.
Although the city of Conway and the County of Faulkner may not be the number one contributor to the rising number of STDs seen throughout the country, a number of nearby counties and states put Conway, Arkansas at risk.
Even more recently, the Arkansas Department of Health released its 2014 edition STI surveillance report, outlining a number of health-related issues including sexual transmitted diseases. According to this report, the central region of Arkansas saw a sharp increase in chlamydia and gonorrhea cases between the years 2013 and 2014. Interestingly enough, the central region saw a significant decrease in early syphilis cases between ’13 and ’14.
In regards to chlamydia, females tended to be at a significant higher risk than males. The report revealed that between 2013 2014 females contributed to roughly 73.5% of all committee cases and Arkansas. Furthermore, this report discussed a number of committee cases broken down by ethnicities.
The most at risk individuals had a non-Hispanic, African-American ethnicity contributing 45.9% of all cases in 2013 and 50.3% of all cases in 2014. Closely following this ethnicity were non-Hispanic Caucasians, making a total of 36.2% in 2013 and 41.6% 2014 of all chlamydia cases in Arkansas. Finally, this report addressed committee by age as well, pointing out that more than 70% of all committee cases occurred from individuals ranging between the ages of 15 and 24 in 2013 as well as 2014. Faulkner County contributed to a total of 3.6% of call chlamydia cases for 2013 and 2014.
This report also broke down the number of cases in equal details for gonorrhea, offering additional unique insights. This section of the report showed the sharp increase of gonorrhea cases in the central state of Arkansas from 1342 in 2013 to 1606 and 2014.
However, males and females offered a more equal distribution, males taking 45.2% and females taken 54.9% of gonorrhea cases in 2014. Interestingly enough, African Americans who were not Hispanic were at a significantly higher risk of contracting gonorrhea than any other race within the city and County. The state wide report showed that in 2013 African-Americans made up a total of 64.9% of all gonorrhea cases 13 and 65.3% of all cases in 2014. Following a similar trend to chlamydia and the most at risk age group for gonorrhea where individuals can ages of 15 and 24, making up a total of 65.8% of all cases in the state in 2013 and 60.6% of all cases in 2014.
As a whole, the committee does a great job providing free resources and services to the general public in order to increase awareness and improvements to one’s sexual health. For example, the public education system provides free knowledge to students, offering insight, strategies, and overall awareness towards sexual health and the severe risks associated with sexually-transmitted diseases. Furthermore, residents are provided free STD testing by the government and health department. Doing so typically involves making an appointment in advance and appearing at the designated clinic or Health Center and undergoing tests.
However due to the fact that a majority of STD cases stem from individuals between the ages of 15 and 24, the committee feels that more needs to be done to educate this age group. Due to the fact that Conway is such a school and college focused community, many feel that public awareness should be pushed within these facilities. Furthermore, public officials have suggested pushing a public awareness campaign that provides immediate reality of the risks associated with STDs and also the number for your resources the general public and utilize to gauge their sexual health.
Although Conway, AR is populated with a diverse set of individuals, many community members feel that morning to be done towards African-Americans who are female. This demographic alone appears to be the most at-risk individual within the city, County, and even state. According to the 2013 and 2014 statistics provided by the Arkansas Health Department, African Americans make up a major percentage of the number of STD cases that are reported annually. Those in the community feel that pushing public awareness towards this demographic could help reduce the number of STD cases reported annually and further help prevent the spread of STD cases throughout the entire nation.
These statistics for the past number of years from the health department of Arkansas and the Center for disease control and prevention make it abundantly clear that the lack of information and knowledge of freeze resources provided within the community as a catalyst for the rising number of STD cases. Due to the fact that the community is heavily populated with colleges, tourism and students from out-of-state contribute to the number of cases as well. By focusing its efforts on the public awareness and outreach campaigns, the committee hopes that this number will be reduced within the upcoming years.
Conway, Arkansas is a wonderful city offering a number of fun activities to do while trying to pursue a higher education. However, the city is at a significant risk of a nationwide spread of ST cases and more needs to be done to address this issue. Recent statistical reports reveal that the most at risk individual for chlamydia and gonorrhea are females between the ages of 15 and 24 who have an African American and ethnicity.
In order to help fight the spread of STDs throughout the nation, it’s vitally important the take some time out of your busy lifestyle to touch base with your sexual health and take a STD test. There are a number of free clinics and health centers that offer the service to the community, and there are a number of private clinics that offer a more confidential and expedited test. No matter where you undergo your STD test it’s important that you do this on a regular basis to keep yourself safe and aware.