While the backdrop of the two buttes might be breathtaking, the STD rates for the city are not. According to statistics from the last twenty years, the number of sexually transmitted diseases is rising at an alarming rate.
Even though area health officials admit that it is not uncommon to see STD rates spike every few years before quickly dropping back down, the ongoing and steady increase the city is experiencing is cause for alarm.
It is not just Gonorrhea and Chlamydia rates that are rising, but the number of primary and secondary Syphilis diagnoses is also increasing. This is particularly worrisome to health experts since many thought that this sexually transmitted disease was on its way to completely disappearing.
Health officials noted that the number of men who repeatedly contract Gonorrhea is also increasing, though some do point out that young women are testing positive for the venereal disease less often.
Other statistics that are just as concerning include,
- In November 2013 the incident rate for Gonorrhea had already increased 60 percent compared to 2012.
- In 2013 there were 23 Syphilis diagnoses compared to a rate of 0.6 in 2009.
- In 2009 the rates for Chlamydia and HIV were significantly higher than state averages.
- 2010 saw 43 cases of Gonorrhea compared to the 73 incidents reported in the first 10 months of 2011.
- Chlamydia cases rose to 1,281 in 2010 compared to 1,052 reported in 2008.
While there are new national guidelines outlining what should be included in sexual education programs used in public schools, the city of Eugene has already implemented its own comprehensive classes.
Research has shown that students who receive comprehensive and medically accurate information in sex education classes are less likely to become pregnant or test positive for a venereal disease. These same schools also have a lower rate of Herpes infections, which is always good news for students and their families since this virus can be easily spread from person to person.
Students who are aware of the dangers associated with unprotected sex are less likely to engage in risky behavior, and understand the importance of regular testing. When teens know how important STD tests are for their continued good health they are more likely to encourage others around them to also get screened for any sexually transmitted diseases. It is only through education that STD rates in the city will finally start to decrease.
Even though sexual education classes are making a difference, regular Herpes testing in Eugene is still important, especially for teens and young adults. Regular HIV testing in Eugene is also vital for continued good health, and the simple procedure only takes a few minutes of your time.
When everyone starts taking care of their sexual health the risk of contracting a STD dramatically decreases. Regular screenings can also catch these diseases in time to prevent potentially devastating complications.
There are several factors that are contributing to the increase in STD rates, but recent studies have found that one of the main reasons is a shortage of affordable health care options. Budget cuts, job loss and a weak economy have all made it difficult for many residents to find an affordable way to take care of their sexual health.
Not only are lower income residents finding it difficult to pay for regular testing, but the budget cuts have also caused many facilities to forego any payment plans. This has resulted in fewer residents even trying to get tested, which also causes the rate of infections to rise.
Health care professionals have also noticed that not everyone is prescribing the same dosage when it comes to treating Gonorrhea. In recent years the bacteria that causes the virus has become more resistant to antibiotics, which caused health officials to increase the recommended dosage. When not enough antibiotics are taken the infection will appear, but what is really frightening to health experts is that even though there may not be any symptoms for a while it is still possible to spread the disease.
Other factors contributing to the high STD rate include an increase in intravenous drug use, along with misdiagnoses of secondary Syphilis. The sexually transmitted disease often resembles a rash, and it is easy to mistake it for something else. These and other demographical factors are causing the number of sexually transmitted diseases each year to increase, and the only way to protect yourself is to get tested every few months.
Before you take off to explore the nearby buttes or spend an afternoon at a unique gallery it is important to not become a statistic and spend a few minutes taking care of your sexual health. If you are putting off this important screening due to long lines and crowded waiting rooms at the community health centers you can avoid all these hassles and schedule confidential STD testing. It only takes one simple phone call and a few minutes at a local lab and you can take care of your sexual health, and still have plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful scenery.