The Center for Disease Control and most health departments in the nation are working to find out as much as they can about STD rates, causes, who is being affected, who is most at risk, and how this issue can be best dealt with. Collection of data by dedicated staff helps to provide useful information for the generation of helpful reports that are used to help those who are most in need.
Information collected includes results, age, sex, ethnicity and financial status of each client tested. Neither names nor social security numbers are given out so there is no reason to worry about your privacy. Laws are in force to ensure that your confidentiality is maintained without question. The following statistics show infection rates for certain STD types per 100,000 in population in this region.
- Gonorrhea- 110.9
- Syphilis (all types)- 2.6
- Chlamydia- 434.0
The good news is that Syphilis rates are lower than most other states in the nation. Bad news is rising Chlamydia numbers affecting women and double the rate as seen for men. African Americans, Alaskan Indians, Native Americans and Hispanics have greater frequencies of positive results in that order.
Evansville has a high concentration of families that fall at or below established poverty guidelines. Low income generally means few resources for quality medical services and care. When combined with little education on sexual health and prevention of venereal disease, the odds continue to increase. Poverty is known to be a leading factor for risk in sexually active persons. Having multiple sexual partners increases the risk and uprotected sex is like playing Russian Roulette with your sexual health. Often, persons in the greatest risk groups are unaware of their peril. They may become infected and spread an STDs] to others without realizing it. These are in the most dire need of education and direction to all available resources
Everyone needs to have education about best practices for safe sex and prevention of STDs. In addition to this, every available resource including testing clinics along with private and government sponsored assistance programs to help gain access needs to be made public so everyone will know where they can go to get the help that they so desperately need.
Public schools are supplying quality sexual health information to students from the time of middle school through the high school years. This definitely helps to reach some populations at risk before they become adults. Students learn at an early age about all potential consequences of having unprotected sex. They know about resources available to get a Herpes test or whichever type is needed. This practice has been
in force for several years but infection rates for teenagers has not yet seen a decline, indicating strategies need to be improved and implemented in addition.
Women expecting babies undergo routine testing for sexually transmitted disease as a regular part of prenatal screening processes. This has been helpful in lowering incidences of babies born with these diseases or being born with disabling conditions because of them.
The greatest risk for getting an STD is when you have unprotected sex with more than one person or when the person you are with is doing so. You can think of it this way…If you are having sexual relations with a person who is sexually active with multiple partners, you are coming into contact with a person that is multiplying their risk factors with every sexual encounter that they have. Then they are bringing it back to you. It is much like having multiple partners yourself with regard to risk.
If you are even at the slightest risk, get tested. Use the easy ordering process and then drop by a lab where friendly and professional center staff will direct and assist you. Don’t worry about anyone sharing your information because it will all be kept private. The law ensures this. You won’t be at the lab for very long because the total time for testing should not exceed 15 or 20 minutes at the most. While you’re there, if you have questions or concerns, share them with the staff. They can provide you with access to educational materials that should will give you the answers that you need.
When you’re done, you’ll see how fast and easy the entire process really is. It won’t take long for you to get your testing results. You’ll know quickly if you test negative or if there is a need to follow up for treatment of a positive. Either way, you’re taking important steps to safeguard your sexual health and to become a part of the solution that is so badly needed in the fight against sexually transmitted diseases.