As a matter of public record, the Center for Disease Control and local health departments track and publish the rates for a variety of diseases in the area, including STDs. They get the figures from data that is collected by health care providers, clinics and hospitals in the area. No names or other personal information is shared, just demographical data that is useful in assessing who is at risk for STD infection. The following table shows the number of cases for certain types of STDs which have been diagnosed per 100,000 persons in this region.
- Chlamydia- 547.9
- Gonorrhea- 152.9
- Syphilis- 10.0
Los Angeles county ranks number one in the nation for metropolitan areas having the highest rates of Chlamydia per capita. The equivalent is about three percent of the population with women having twice the frequency as men. The data shows a consistent increase in cases over the past five years. While people who are age twenty to twenty four have the highest rates, a trend in those age fifteen to nineteen shows that this population is growing in their number of infection rates.
The Gonorrhea rates are approximately four percent of the population with the first place rank in the nation as well. Men have slightly higher rates than women which has remained consistent over the past decade. The State of California ranks fourth in Syphilis rates with Los Angeles County holding firmly as having the greatest concentration of cases.
The Center for Disease Control keeps tabs on the general health of the nation. It supplies reports that let all interested parties know about health risks of various types. STD rates have been an ongoing issue because of their epidemic proportions. Getting an STD may not seem like a big deal to some people, but the reality of the matter is that some types can cause complications with fertility, and the health of the babies born to mothers who are infected. It increases the chances of disability and still births. In addition, they can affect a person’s general health including life threatening health complications. The high rates in this area are reason for great concern for health department officials.
CDC analysts can paint a picture by analyzing past and current trends in STD infection rates. The scenario for this are is grim at best. Trends and patterns which have been identified show that people of Black ethnicity have a greater frequency of positive test results for all STDs across the board, followed by American Indians and Alaskan Natives, then Hispanic populations.
The drive to educate the public about STDs, their signs, symptoms, treatment plans and prevention is becoming more necessary. It was believed that mandating sex ed classes in public schools would decrease the number of cases. Although it is helpful, rising rates for teens shows that it is not enough. These diseases are being spread from one person to another at an alarming rate.
Prenatal health screening includes STD testing as a routine part of the process. This is helpful, but prevention is better than treatment after becoming pregnant. There are risks to any unborn child when the mother is infected and undergoing treatment.
Local health care organizations and agencies take the STD epidemic seriously and are taking steps to attempt to slow the spread. In addition to school based sex ed, community outreach efforts include public service announcements, pamphlets and literature distributed to doctor’s offices and STD testing centers. There are resources available for everyone who is at risk, but it is up to each individual to take responsibility for their own sexual health.
In order to stop the rising epidemic of STD infections in the region, everyone who is at risk needs to learn about prevention and begin using safe sex practices. In addition, they need to get tested. It is possible to have an STD without showing any symptoms in the early stages so the only way to know for certain is to be tested. Have you had sex with multiple partners? Can you confirm your partner’s sexual health status or monogamy? If you are uncertain then you are at some level of risk for an STD. The solution to this problem begins with awareness and action. Ordering STD testing is easy and it doesn’t take up much of your time after ordering to visit a local lab for completion of the process. You’ll have complete privacy and confidentiality with professional yet friendly staff who are there to assist you. They understand that nobody wants to spend much time getting an STD test, so they work quickly to get you in, finished and on your way. Do it today and become a part of the solution to a growing problem.