Private physicians, hospitals and STD testing clinics all work together with the Center for Disease Control and local health departments, in an effort to help address the problem of rising STD rates. Each time a client completes STD testing, the results are recorded and forwarded to the appropriate departments for inclusion in a nationwide database. Analysts compile and organize the data to help establish who is at the greatest risk for particular STDs.
No personal information is shared that could breach an individual’s confidentiality. Demographic information including sex, age, race, income bracket, area of residence and testing results is the only information that is shared. This is used in tracking trends in infection rates to identify who is the most at risk for certain sexually transmitted diseases. This in turn helps in designing effective educational campaigns for getting the word out about STDs and why testing is important. The following statistics show the percentages of persons infected with specific types of STDs per 100,000 in population.
- Chlamydia -490.6
- Gonorrhea- 106.5
- Syphilis- 11.6
The rates for each of these diseases are high. Thanks to the good work of analysts and statisticians, trends and patterns are identified which are helpful in determining who is at the greatest risk. The information is then used to help plot strategies for reaching them with valuable educational resources in the form of informational campaigns and increased funding for STD testing and treatment for those who cannot afford the costs.
The numbers above only represent the numbers of people who have followed through with the process of STD testing. There are many out there who still badly need to be tested, but may not know the troubles that they are facing by avoiding testing. Health Department analysts believe that if everyone who is at risk for sexually transmitted disease infection would get tested, the numbers would actually be much higher.
It is believed that by increasing the information available about STDs, more people will realize their need for testing. With cases of teenage infection on the rise, the local health authorities and certain branches of government came up with a strategy to reach more young people just before the age at which some will begin sexual experimentation. A part of the plan includes mandatory sexual health education classes in all of the pubic schools. Students learn about the consequences of unprotected sex and how to prevent unwanted pregnancy and STD infection. Upon completion of the course, they will know where they can get a Herpes test or where to go for HIV testing in the area. They will also know which signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for in the event of infection.
Demographics play a major role in the trends seen in STD rates. People who are born into situations of economic hardship, at or below the poverty level are at a distinct disadvantage from those who have adequate resources. There is a tendency for high dropout rates in school, and a lack of education about the dangers of unprotected sex. In addition to this, fewer financial resources means that there is an increased chance that they will not seek STD testing or medical treatment for the conditions because of financial restraints or inability to pay. This is among the top reasons why there are so many people still out there who need to get tested, but do not. Even though free STD testing centers are available, the funding is on a first come, first served basis and when it is depleted, there may be a waiting period until new funding is available.
The majority of people who are in at risk groups who do not get tested have not yet read the statistics that support their inclusion in the category of risk ranking, or do not believe that it applies to them. The truth of the matter is that it applies to everybody.
Chlamydia is twice as high in females as it is in men. Women in the 20 to 24 age group have the highest numbers followed by 15 to 19, then 25 to 29. Blacks have the highest rates when scored from an ethnic perspective, followed by Whites, then Hispanics. Gonorrhea incidences are slightly higher in men, particularly those who are age 20 to 24, followed by those 25 to 29, then those age 15 to 19.
Syphilis rates are also higher in males than for women. Those age 20 to 24 are in the highest incidence rank followed by 25 to 29, 45 to 54, then 30 to 34. It is also seen more frequently with co infections of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea or HIV in men who participate in male to male sex.
If you fall into any of the at risk categories, or if you have had unprotected sex, you may be at risk for an STD infection. Not all STDs present symptoms in the beginning so the only way to know for certain is to get tested. STD testing is easy to order and it just takes a few minutes of your time to visit a local lab to complete the process. Friendly and professional staff are there to assist you with private and confidential testing and answer any questions you might have. Get the peace of mind that you need by completing your STD testing today.