Every state, region, and city has different issues when it comes to public health and sexually transmitted diseases. It is always important to be aware of the biggest potential public health concerns in your area so that you know what to look out for and, of course, what to get tested for. When it comes to STDs in Decatur, the biggest issues and the STD with the highest rate of occurrence is Chlamydia.
- The exact rate of Chlamydia diagnosis and transmission is at about 741.7 cases per 100,000 people in the area. This is considered to be a rate that is quite high both by state and national standards.
- The Georgia state average rate of Chlamydia is only at around 534 per 100,000 people.
- And the national average is even lower than at 456.7 cases per 100,000 people. These high rates of Chlamydia are worrisome to be sure.
- Additionally, Gonorrhea occurs at above average rates in the city and county. The rate is at around 266.9 cases per 100,000 people. This is significantly higher than the state rate of 156.1 cases per 100,000 and the national average of 107.5 per 100,000 people.
- However, these rates are also offset by some of the lower averages and rates of other STDs throughout the city and region.
HIV, for example, occurs at a rate of only about 1 per 100,000 people in the area which is quite low by any standards.
The government of the state of Georgia has had laws in effect regarding sexual health education and HIV and STD prevention education in effect since the year 1989. This long history of sexual health education helps to keep the rates of STDs throughout the state fairly low compared to the national averages, with a few exceptions, of course.
While the state mandates that sexual health education must be taught in schools, the local school boards do have a great deal of leeway when it comes to designing their curriculum and the exact lessons to be taught. There are still some requirements though. Chief among those requirements is the requirement that abstinence be an emphasized means of STD and unwanted pregnancy prevention and a positive lifestyle choice overall. However, schools are able to teach more than abstinence if they so choose. The consequences of pregnancy and STDs and HIV/AIDS are also required to be taught so that young people are more aware of the larger consequences of their actions.
In the Decatur area (specifically in the DeKalb County School District), sexual health education teaches more than just abstinence as a means of preventing STD contraction and transmission as well as pregnancy. Students are taught about the specific characteristics of STDs as well as the use of contraception as preventive measure and the rates of effectiveness of those prevention methods. Parents do have the option to remove their child from any and all sexual health education classes if they are uncomfortable with the content or the ways in which the information is being taught.
Specific demographics for a given region or city can provide a great deal of insight into the ways in which public health issues occur and are addressed. In the case of Decatur, the total population of the city is about 21,957 people. Of the total population, 56.3 percent are female and 43.7 percent are male.
In terms of racial demographics, the majority of people in the area identify as White or Caucasian at around 69.8 percent, while 22.2 percent identify as Black or African American, and 4.4 percent identify as Asian. Age wise, the largest group is people between the ages of 25 years old and 44 years old at 29.2 percent followed closely by 45 to 54 year olds at 14.1 percent of the total population.
In the state of Georgia, the rates of HIV cases are highest among people who identify as African American or Black. During the year 2013, 74.9 percent of the Georgians diagnosed with HIV were a part of this group while 13.7 percent were White or Caucasian. Cases of Chlamydia, on the other hand, were the most prevalent among women. In fact, Chlamydia was diagnosed at a rate 2.5 times higher than for men.
By keeping all of this important information in mind, you can see why it is vitally important to make your sexual health a priority in your life. It does not take much to get started in doing so. In fact, the first step is just grabbing your phone and dialing a phone number. You can have a quick phone conversation and have yourself scheduled for a Confidential STD Test at a Private STD Clinic in no time. When you make that call, be sure that you request a standard STD panel to test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea as well as an HIV blood test. If you are concerned about Herpes or Syphilis, there are also blood tests available for those STDs that you can request. Once you have your appointment and get your results, you will be armed with the knowledge of your sexual health status and will be able to get any help and treatments that you might need.