Additional STD Test Statistics in East Honolulu, HI
Your state recently ranked ninth in the county in its chlamydia rate. Its rates for gonorrhea and syphilis are among the lowest in the country.
Peter Whiticar is the chief of the state Department of Health’s STD/HIV Prevention Branch. He said risky sexual behavior by young people is one reason that chlamydia rates are high in the state.
The CDC estimates about half of new STDs are among 15 to 24 year olds. A recent Youth Risk Behavior Study was conducted by the state’s Health Department.
The study indicated that a quarter of the high school students in the state were sexually active. Less than half have used a condom during their last sexual encounter.
“The survey shows Hawaii has one of the lowest rates of condom use of any state in the country. Increased risky behavior and very low condom use with a large pool of chlamydia leads to increasing numbers,” Whiticar said.
“It’s clear there are people having unprotected sex out there.” Whiticar noted that some young people could be in denial about limited sexual contact such as oral sex which can cause an STD to spread.
They think they do not have to worry about getting pregnant so it is ok. STDs can be spread by oral sex.
STD Testing and Sexual Health Education in East Honolulu, HI
According to a recent statewide health survey the percent of students who learn about HIV and AIDs in school dropped to a two-decade low. This is according to the Hawaii Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
Middle and high school students fill out the survey anonymously every two years. About 44 percent of middle school students said they were taught about STDs in public schools.
This is down from 85 percent in 1999. In high school the percentage went from 90 percent in 1999 to 76 percent in 2015.
Some believe this will change when the latest survey is completed. The Board of Education made policy changes recently.
They now mandate that schools teach comprehensive and medically accurate sex education. It is not clear the effect the new mandate will have and how many schools will offer comprehensive sex education.
Schools could have challenges meeting the goal. Concerning the University of Hawaii’s Pono Choices sex ed curriculum pilot, there has been controversy.
Some also feel there was confusion over policies, laws, and curriculum. Board of Education members, legislators, and offices from the Department of Education have expressed differing opinions about what schools must teach.
The result is that not every school teaches the subject the same way. We see no accounting of what a school offers, what curriculum is used, or how many students enroll.
The new policy from the Board of Education states schools must provide sex education that is age appropriate, comprehensive, and medically accurate. The policy states sex education must include a reference to HIV.
Sex education must also educate on abstinence, contraception, and methods of disease prevention. The system is to be an opt out one.
This is instead of asking parents to sign their children up for sex education. An unknown is what help schools need to meet challenges such as training additional teachers, purchasing new curriculum and keeping parents informed.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Demographics in East Honolulu, HI
Demographics play a role in our understanding of STDs in your area. As in other regions of the country, there is a wide disparity in your state in the rate of sexually transmitted diseases among race, gender, ethnicity, and age.
Since 2007, incidence of syphilis among seniors is up by 52 percent. Since pregnancy is not an issue, seniors could feel that unprotected sex is an option.
Seniors have not received an education in how unprotected sex can lead to STDs. Retirement communities are areas where STD rates are rising. Age tends to make people more rather than less susceptible to disease.
Men who have sex with men accounted for the majority of new gonorrhea cases. Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea was found to possibly be higher among the group, according to a recent report.
Concerning gonorrhea, this STD has become progressively difficult to treat. Scientists at the CDC warned that the bacterium that causes gonorrhea, called Neisseria gonorrhoeae, is developing resistance to the antibiotic drugs used to treat it.
Overall, young people and gay and bisexual men face the greatest risk of getting a STD. This is according to a recent report.
Especially high also are the rates in general for those who are 15 to 24 years old. Concerning syphilis, a disturbing finding is an increase among newborns.
A recent report showed an increase of 6 percent of congenital syphilis passed from pregnant woman to her baby. The majority of cases of primary and secondary syphilis is with men who have sex with men accounted for the majority of new cases.
“The health outcomes of syphilis — miscarriage, stillbirth, blindness or stroke — can be devastating,” This is according to Dr. Gail Bolan, director of CDC’s Division of STD Prevention.
“The resurgence of congenital syphilis and the increasing impact of syphilis among gay and bisexual men makes it clear that many Americans are not getting the preventive services they need. Every pregnant woman should be tested for syphilis, and sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested for syphilis at least once a year,” she said. “To reverse the STD epidemic, we should all learn to talk more openly about STDs — with our partners, parents, and providers.”
Bolan wrote that some 21 health department STD clinics across the country have closed due to many state and local programs. They are experiencing budget cuts.
Fewer people have access to the testing and treatment resources provided by such clinics. As more STD cases emerge, treating infections costs the country nearly $16 billion annually.
STI Testing Resources in East Honolulu, HI
STI testing resources are available to you in your area. One of these is the Honolulu Health Center/Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood facilities have a staff that is used to working with someone in your situation. They offer STD testing, diagnosis, and treatment. This includes herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and genital warts. These can all be scary but treated.
You can also get condoms and vaccines through Planned Parenthood. Remember that you can get tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia using a urine sample. If this test shows an infection, you can get treatment. You can also get treatment for your partner.
They will help provide you with medically accurate information. They work with people of all ages, including teens, on how to lead a healthy life. They will be honest and kind when working with you.
This health center supports and welcomes clients regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or biological sex, including but not limited to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and intersex clients. All services are provided in a respectful and professional manner.
Individuals ages 19 – 26 who have no health insurance could qualify for the Merck Vaccine Patient Assistance Program to receive the HPV vaccine (Gardasil) at no charge. You must meet financial criteria to get this assistance.
The Hawaii State Department of Health – Diamond Head Health Center operates an HIV/STD clinic that can help you. Here are the services available.
- Hepatitis B Vaccine
- Chlamydia Test
- Rapid HIV Blood Test
- Syphilis Test
- Gonorrhea Test
A hospital or urgent care center can also help. Sometimes people are not aware that an urgent care center center can test and treat all STDs.
This could be a good option for you if you are embarrassed about standing in line at an STD clinic or Planned Parenthood. A private service such as Plushcare is also an option.
Better Sexual Health in East Honolulu, HI
There are several options for you to get information about testing. You could go to a counsellor or nurse at an area high school, a hospital, an urgent care center, a private service, or a Planned Parenthood location.
These are all resources that you could use. They can help you with testing, education, and overall good sexual health. Remember to put your health first.
You may not feel anything with some STI diseases that infect you as with chlamydia. The symptoms do not occur right after you get infected.
You should find out for sure if you have the infection and get it treated. You can get information about STDs, testing, and treatment at an area hospital such as The Queen’s Medical Center.
You can also get this information if you go to a counsellor or nurse at Kalani High School. Here are links to these resources.