Recently released statistics show that the city of Dayton and surrounding Montgomery County are currently experiencing a rise in the number of reported STDs, and the data shows that this trend has been increasing for the past twenty years.
What is even more disturbing to city and county health officials is that the statistics also show that primary and secondary Syphilis incidents are also on the rise, and a large number of the new cases can be traced back to larger cities. With Cincinnati’s STD rates on the rise, it seems that it is also affecting Dayton and Montgomery County.
Even without some STD outbreaks being traced back to other cities, Montgomery County is still well above state averages. In 2012 the incident rates for Gonorrhea was almost double that of Ohio. Syphilis rates also increased between 2010 and 2014, and statistics show that it is affecting men and women of all ethnicities and age groups.
Some of the recently released numbers that have health officials growing extremely concerned include;
- In 2011 there were 70 new reports of Syphilis compared to only 26 in 2010.
- Statistics show that heterosexual women and African Americans are at the greatest risk for contracting primary or secondary Syphilis.
- In 2012 there were 63 residents’ diagnoses with HIV.
- The Chlamydia rate for Montgomery County was 546.0 compared to 462.0 for the state.
- Gonorrhea rates were almost double state averages at 212.3 as of February 2014.
Sexual education programs are the best way to help prevent the spread of STDs, but currently Dayton public schools are only required to teach the state sponsored abstinence only curriculum. Educators do have to discuss venereal diseases with students, but regular STD testing is not included in the classes.
Without this information it is difficult for students and parents to understand the risks and dangers associated with having unprotected sex, or the fact that not all STDs are only transmitted through intercourse. Without comprehensive sexual education programs in place in the city schools, health officials are worried that the STD rates among teens and young adults will continue to rise.
Making it more difficult for students to be educated about the dangers associated with sexually transmitted diseases is the fact that many teens and their parents opt out of these programs. While the information contained in the classes might be limited, it is still better than not receiving any education at all.
A comprehensive sexual education program will remind teens and students of the importance of being tested regularly, and that STDs can be easily spread. The Herpes virus is common in schools, and students can easily pass it to each other without having sex, and the same is also true for the HIV virus.
Regular Herpes testing in Dayton can prevent the virus from spreading, and also minimize embarrassing flare-ups. Regular HIV testing in Dayton is also critical for continued good health, and the simple procedure can also help save the life of someone you love.
Demographics play an important role in a city’s STD rates, and this is true in Dayton and Montgomery County. The city’s diverse population can make it difficult for health officials to reach everyone, especially in some lower income neighborhoods were trust is a significant problem.
Lower income neighborhoods often have a shortage of community health centers which is also contributing to the high rate of STDs in these areas. Inability to afford regular testing and a lack of caring about their sexual health, is also causing sexually transmitted disease rates to soar among some of the poorer residents.
Other demographical factors include age and gender, along with the city’s strong religious and conservative beliefs. Many parents and teens simply aren’t comfortable discussing sex or STDs, which can make it difficult for students who are sexually active to get the permission they need for regular testing.
The old stereotypes that accompany many of the sexually transmitted diseases are also playing a role in the city’s rising STD rates, especially among African American men who are often embarrassed are too ashamed to admit that they might need to see a health care professional. Teenage girls facing peer pressure can find it difficult to say “no”, and even engage in risky sexual behavior.
Until there is a comprehensive sexual education program in place in Dayton city schools, and all residents understand how important it is to be tested regularly, city and state health officials expect to see the incident rates for STDs continue to rise.
Before visiting Carillon Historic Park or the Packard Museum it is important to stop in at one of the city’s health centers and take care of your sexual health. While there are clinics in Dayton for residents to visit, the long lines and fear of running into a familiar face has many people looking for another alternative. Now you can easily schedule confidential STD testing with one quick phone call and only spend 20 minutes or so at the local lab, which still gives you plenty of time to catch one of the amazing and educational performances at SunWatch Indian Village.