STD statistics are generated by the information that is supplied by all healthcare professionals and agencies that provide testing services. They collect data that includes client area of residence, income status, gender, age, ethnicity and type of testing done. There is no need to worry about privacy issues because no information that could identify a particular person is shared. This is ensured by strict regulations and laws that protect client confidentiality. The information is used to help determine risk factors for becoming infected. The table below shows the most recent reports that have been generated for this region and is based upon positive tests per 100,000 in population.
- Chlamydia- 477.1
- Gonorrhea- 95.9
- Syphilis- 1.8
The stats provide an overview in recent trends and patterns in STD rates and good news is that the Syphilis rates in this region are low in comparison with the majority of other metropolitan areas nationwide. The bad news is that Chlamydia and Gonorrhea cases are not. They are high enough to warrant serious concern from health professionals. The residents need to know that their sexual health is at risk with trends in Chlamydia and Gonorrhea rates increasing each year. Although these reports are available to anyone with an interest in seeing them, they are rarely accessed by the people who are in the highest risk categories.
The available reports are generated from hard facts gathered about clients who received testing. Because of the demographical data that is included for each, a pattern has developed and remained consistent over the past five years. It shows that Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD and that women test positive twice as often as men do. Both men and women in the twenty to twenty four year age group have higher rates than others. Gonorrhea rates are a little higher for men than for women and the same is observed for diagnoses of Syphilis. According to the reports, Blacks have the highest numbers of positive STD tests followed by Alaskan Native/Native Americans, then Hispanics.
Poverty is believed to be an additional factor because there are less resources available for testing and treatment and on top of that, a lack of education/information about the dangers of unprotected sex. The greatest single factor is having unprotected sex with multiple partners or with a person who is at high risk themselves for STD infection.
This area has many concentrations of people who are at or below the poverty level. It means that many of them lack financial resources for testing and treatment. Many will not have completed the currently mandated sex education classes in public schools so they may not be aware of their risk or the importance of safe sexual practices. Some who are already infected will not know because not every sexually transmitted disease presents itself with immediate symptoms. This is one of the ways that the diseases are spread so quickly. Testing is not as prolific as is required in these populations and more needs to be done to spread the word about sexual health and risk.
Students attending sex education courses sponsored by the public school system will know where they should go for a Herpes or any other type of STD test. Embarrassment is a potential obstacle because some are afraid that their friends and family will find out. The truth is that these are the people that need to know about the confidentiality laws that are in place to protect their privacy. All STD testing clinics maintain strict privacy standards. They are there to serve the health needs of the public. Free testing centers base the fees for their services on income level and clients may qualify for reduced or even free STD testing services.
Fargo does not have the highest STD rates in the nation, but they are high enough to elicit concern. If you are wondering how great your risk is, you should probably get tested to be certain. Ethnicity, age, financial status, gender and region of residence are factors that have been determined by numbers and frequencies of STD infection by comparison with all other groups. No one of these factors automatically places you at higher risk. Perhaps the biggest determining factor is if you’ve had sex with a partner that may possibly be infected themselves. There are not always symptoms so just because they show no signs does not mean that they are STD free.
There is no need to put yourself through unnecessary worry over whether or not you have an STD. Go get tested so you can move past worry and do better things with your time. Ordering STD testing is really easy. All you will need to do after ordering is to follow up with a quick lab visit that shouldn’t take any more than fifteen or twenty minutes at the most to finish up. Staff are diligent to keep your visit private and confidential and if you have any questions when you arrive, they are there to assist. Don’t spend another minute of your time worrying whether or not you have an STD. Get tested and move on.