Local health care providers, health departments and the CDC work together to collect useful information about STD rates and other serious health related events. Controlling outbreaks before they reach epidemic proportions is one of the main goals of this effort. Demographic information is gathered to determine how many people are currently infected by evidence of test results. The following table shows the rate of infection frequency for specific sexually transmitted diseases in the city per 100,000 in population.
- Syphilis (all stages) -36.1
- Gonorrhea – 130.5
- Chlamydia – 547.9
This information shows that Chlamydia is the most prevalent type of STD in the region and the numbers are higher than national averages. Syphilis and Gonorrhea infections are also above most other areas which are monitored. The patterns established for groups at risk remains consistent. Health department professionals believe that if everyone in high risk groups would get tested, the numbers of positives would increase, causing the rates to skyrocket even higher.
There is no need to be concerned about your privacy being compromised. Every effort is made to ensure that privacy laws are strictly upheld and that no single person can be identified by the demographic data that is collected for purposes of analysis. Age, gender, area of residence, financial status, ethnicity and type of testing conducted are the only items which are included in the collection process.
Only data that is useful in determining risk factors and programs to stop the spread is used.
Those who live at or below poverty levels are less likely to get STD testing than those from wealthier backgrounds. The reasons are believed to be a lack of information about the need for testing and their perceived inability to pay for the services. This is why it is important to get accurate information into the hands of people who need it.
When a person realizes that they may have been exposed to a disease, there is more drive to get tested and if needed, treatment. It is not knowing or even thinking about it that causes a faster spread of communicable disease. In addition, many do not know about the free STD testing centers that offer free and reduced rates for those who qualify. These are places where people can go for private and confidential services to get results and preserve their sexual health.
Public sexual health campaigns are already in force. Public schools provide mandatory sex ed classes for children prior to the age at which most begin experimenting with sex. This prepares them with information about their risks and how to prevent pregnancy and STDs. They also know about resources to get HIV or Herpes testing. This knowledge will be with them for life and will hopefully help to lower the rates.
The formula for pinpointing STD risk includes looking at what is currently known about each disease and looking for trends and patterns over the past decade or longer. Finding numbers and similarities among people who test positive helps to establish “factors” such as age, race, gender, etc. A good example of this is that women consistently test positive at double the rate of men in all cities monitored and over the past decade this pattern has remained the same. People from impoverished backgrounds have higher incidences of infection and men have had slightly higher rates for Gonorrhea and Syphilis than women.
The leading single risk factor for STD infection is having unprotected sex with a person who themselves is at risk. The more knowledge about risk factors, the better. This makes it easier to come up with strategies to help prevent further spread by targeting at risk groups with information and testing resources.
Have you ever had unprotected sex and are unsure of your partner’s sexual habits? It only takes one encounter with someone who may not even know that they are infected. If you have any doubts about your sexual health, the only way to know for sure is to get tested. It is really easy to order your testing and it doesn’t take long to visit a local lab to complete the process. Friendly staff and lab techs will provide you with private and confidential testing services. They can answer questions if you have them, and will get you in and out of the clinic quickly. Take care of your health and leave nothing to chance.