Even though statistics for San Mateo County and Daly City show that STD rates are lower than state averages, the data still indicates that there is a problem.
Over the past ten years the number of cases of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea reported has appeared to be on a roller coaster ride. The percentages increase and decrease every few years, and this makes it difficult for health officials to pin down an exact cause. Unfortunately the data for primary and secondary Syphilis diagnoses is different, and the rate for this disease has been increasing steadily for several years.
Young African Americans ages 20 to 24 are consistently among those with the highest risk, though older adults are more likely to contract Syphilis according to recent statistics. Hispanic females also present a high risk for Chlamydia, though they are less likely to contract any of the other sexually transmitted diseases.
This broad statistics show just how wide spread the problem is, and that it is not limited to one age group or ethnicity. It also indicates that health officials still have a lot of work to do in order to convince everyone that it is important to be tested for all sexually transmitted diseases at least twice a year.
Some of the recent statistics regarding STDs in the community include,
- Women ages 20 to 24 are twice as likely to contract Chlamydia as men according to 2014 statistics.
- Early and latent Syphilis diagnoses are more common in men over the age of 24 and are most frequently found in males 25-29 years old.
- Gonorrhea rates in men have been steadily climbing since 2005, along with Chlamydia and Syphilis incidents in males.
At the start of 2016 it became mandatory for all public school systems in the state to implement sexual education programs that include information that is current and relevant to students. While it is too early to tell how effective the new programs are across the state, many school districts are already reporting a decrease in the number of teen pregnancies and STDs reported in the last few months.
San Mateo County already has a STD rate that is lower than state averages, and health officials are helpful that the new program will eventually decrease the diseases to near zero levels. While this will take several years, the already lower STD rate is being seen as a positive sign.
Included in the sex education program is information concerning the use of contraceptives, and the best method of prevention for all of the commonly transmitted STDs. HIV/AIDS prevention is also discussed, along with all of the various ways it and other viruses can be spread. The importance of regular HIV testing in Daly City is included in the curriculum, and with how this is still the only conclusive method of detecting the presence of the virus.
Students also learn about the importance of regular Herpes testing, and in the last few months it is being reported that fewer teens are contracting the virus.
As the city continues to attract new businesses and residents it would usually expect to see the number of STDs reported each year to increase, but local and state officials have taken proactive steps to help prevent this from happening.
This includes following the state guidelines for current and comprehensive sex education classes, along with stressing the importance of regular testing. Even though this is starting to have a positive effect on some STD rates, others are still increasing. Men seem to be particularly at risk, and health officials believe that there are several reasons why.
Older men often have not received the information they need to protect themselves, and they are also among those that are more likely to engage in risky behavior. This includes the use of illicit drugs, and this is one of the reasons why health officials believe Syphilis rates are so high. Many younger males simply do not believe that a STD could happen to them, and still do not feel a need to get tested even once a year.
When this is combined with the large number of new residents moving into the community, it is easy to see how STD rates could begin to rise. Another problem in the area deals with the shortage of available testing centers. Recent budget cuts have forced many clinics to close making it difficult for residents to find a place to go that doesn’t come with a long line. Hopefully the city will continue to work on improving its health care system.
With new shops and restaurants opening in the downtown area, along with plenty of historic sites and parks to visit it’s easy to understand why residents don’t want to spend the day sitting inside a STD clinic. Now you can skip the long lines and still take care of your sexual health simply by calling to schedule confidential STD testing. This way you only need to spend a few minutes in the privacy of a lab, and still have plenty of time to enjoy everything downtown Daly City has to offer.