HIV/AIDS has become an epidemic in several places in the United States and the world at large. New Jersey itself has a relatively high rate of HIV/AIDS, other STDs, and unwanted pregnancies. Here are a few statistics for the area.
- In 2013, more than 47,000 people were diagnosed with HIV. In East Orange and surrounding areas, 2,169 adults and teenagers were diagnosed with HIV.
- Among the teenagers, almost 45% never had sexual intercourse and almost 63% of those who were sexually active did not use a condom during their last sexual encounter.
- Syphilis is a big part of the sexual epidemic.
- Between 2009 and 2013 there were 16 cases of congenital syphilis.
- There are 319.6 per 100,000 people infected with chlamydia.
- There are 79.1 per 100,000 people infected with gonorrhea.
- Among women, cases were 2.6 times greater than with men. The difference was over 300 per 100,000 people.
Sexual education is an understated but important part of your health. In March of 2007, the Committee on Education introduced Senate Resolution 98. This Resolution required applying more than $800,000 to a state program Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program. Their laws mandate a minimum of 150 minutes dedicated to health education each school week from grades one to twelve. High school students are required to earn 3 and 3/4 credits of health education before they graduate. The Essex County school district used the health education curriculum outlined in the New Jersey Department of Education’s Core Curriculum Content Standards.
In 1999, the “Comprehensive Health Education and Physical Education Curriculum Framework” guide was created. This guide gives teachers’ suggestions on how to teach about HIV/AIDS, STDs, and pregnancy prevention. It recommends some strategies for helping students with topics like abstinence, sexual orientation, gender assumptions, and more. In that publication, there is information about “Healthy sexual development as well as the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV infection, and unintended pregnancy.”
STD Clinics in East Orange offer education about testing, prevention, and how to take care of yourself and your partner. These sexual health programs and legislation are an attempt to control the epidemic happening in New Jersey. The fact that they are free is helpful for those in less fortunate situations who still need help with their health and sexual choices.
These programs are important since many teens feel simply using condoms or having sex just once means they can’t catch an STD. STDs can remain undetected because not all have symptoms, making it easy to pass along. Many doctors may not even bring up getting tested. You have to ask in most cases, which can be embarrassing for teens. However, it is something that has to be done.
You may ask yourself, do demographics affect how sexual health is handled? Who lives in an area, how much money is made, and what properties are valued at play a part in the sexual education and resources available to the public. An area that is in poverty will likely have poorly educated youth and more instances of STDs and a more affluent neighborhood will always have more tools to offer their residents.
Race also makes a huge difference because of sexual health, sexual taboos, and sexual habits. Having good sexual health all differ depending on where each person is from due to geographical differences and cultural values. In the case of East Orange’s population, it is made up of mostly women in their middle age. Here are some more specific demographic information from the United States Census of 2000:
- There are over 30,048 males in this city, making up over 46% of the population.
- There are over 35,030 females in this city, making up over 53.8%. Females are a majority in East Orange.
- The average age of residents is 35.5 years old.
- The average household income has increased from $32,000 in 2000 to $40,000 in 2015.
- The average home value reached $225,000 compared to $125,400. This however is more inexpensive than New Jersey as a whole, which averages to about $322,000 in average housing value.
- There are 64,270 people, 24,945 households, and 14,742 families residing in the city.
- The population density was 16,377.1 per square mile.
- 51% of the population are African American. 4.13% of the population are White or Caucasian.
STD testing is a great tool to help you maintain your sexual health. It is a sign of respect so that your partner and you can concentrate on having an enjoyable and safe sexual relationship. It is important to learn how to use birth control, condoms, and what the signs of STDs are.
Essex County provides services like rapid blood HIV testing, chlamydia testing, gonorrhea testing, and education for HIV/AIDS, STD prevention, HIV test counseling, and more. Taking advantage of these services will ensure that the spread of STDs becomes less of a concern. East Orange is a hidden gem in New Jersey and safe sexual practices will allow it to flourish and become a bigger location for tourism.