According to statistics released by the CDC and Fairfield County Health Department, the state ranks among the 10 lowest for its STD rates. State and county health officials are quick to point out that this is to be expected considering its relatively small population.
Every year the number of STDs reported rises, and this trend has been occurring for the last twenty years. What is more disturbing is who STDs are affecting the most, young adults under the age of 25.
Women are more than twice as likely to contract Chlamydia as men, and the majority of cases are occurring in teens and young adults. The statistics show the county currently has the 4th highest rate in the state, and this is not expected to improve anytime soon.
Gonorrhea incidents in men are also increasing, and with those for Syphilis and HIV. While younger guys are more at risk for Gonorrhea, older men are now testing positive for Syphilis and HIV with alarming frequency. The recent statistics only show that STDs can affect anyone regardless of their age.
Some of the recent statistics that highlight the growing problem with sexually transmitted diseases include,
- In 2014 the county ranked 4th in the state for its high Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis rates.
- There were 2,844 cases of Chlamydia reported in the city and county in 2014.
- The area reported 20 new cases of Syphilis in 2014.
- According to 2014 statistics men are almost twice as likely to contract Gonorrhea compared to women.
When it comes to sex education the state is doing a little more than others to help teens and young adults protect their sexual health. State law does require all public schools to provide information on STDs and HIV, but this is where the guidelines end.
The public school districts are allowed to decide on the material used in the classes, and most are still choosing to present abstinence based information. The individual school systems can also decide if they want to include sex education programs in the curriculum or simply include information on HIV and STDs in the standard health classes.
While students in the city are receiving a little more information concerning the dangers of STDs than teens in some other states, they are still woefully unprepared to deal with the risks and responsibilities that come with being sexually active.
Studies have shown that abstinence is ineffective at preventing the spread of STDs. While it can prevent unplanned pregnancies, it does not protect against all sexually transmitted diseases. Since the teen pregnancy rate is still rising, it is also evident that students are still engaging in sexual activity regardless of being encouraged to practice abstinence.
If all students were taught that regular Herpes testing in Danbury should be an important part of their health care routine, the number of reported incidents would start to decrease. Thankfully teens do learn how important regular HIV testing in Danbury is, and this is being credited for the city’s relatively low infection rates.
There are several contributing factors to the city’s high STD rates. Its close proximity to the Big Apple is definitely causing the disease rates to rise, but it has had the surprising benefit of forcing both state health departments to work more closely together.
Surprisingly enough the town’s rich history is being blamed for a small part of the rising STD rates. The historic buildings are beautiful to look at, but they also make it difficult for the city to convert them into STI clinics. There designation as historic buildings ensures that the necessary changes cannot be made. With a shortage of community health centers, it is easy to see why many residents choose to put off regular testing until there is a problem.
Recent budget cuts to health care combined with the fact that STD testing is no longer covered under Medicaid is making it difficult for many residents to keep up with their sexual health. Most are finding that they simply can’t afford the regular testing fees, which means some residents might be infected without realizing it.
What is considered the main contributing factor is the lack of comprehensive sex education classes. While most residents know that sexually transmitted diseases exist, the majority of them do not know how to adequately protect themselves. As long as this and other issues remain unresolved the city can expect to see its STD rates continue to rise.
Before you decide to spend the day at one of the city’s parks or museums, it is important to take a few minutes to think about your sexual health. The number of STDs reported in the city is increasing, and this means that regular testing should be a part of your health care plan. It is understandable if you’ve been putting off regular testing due to long lines and crowded waiting rooms, and now you have another option. With one simple phone call you can schedule confidential STD testing, and only spend a few minutes at a conveniently located lab.