There has been an increase in the numbers of people being tested statewide in the past few decades. The results show an increase in positive results for a variety of different STD infections. Hospitals, STD testing centers and private physicians forward the data that is collected to state authorities and the Center for Disease Control for inclusion in state and national databases. The names of clients are not shared in order to protect confidentiality, but they do share region, ethnicity, age, gender and the type of infection. This is to help analysts to pinpoint which groups of persons are at the highest risk for becoming infected. Here are the STD rates for the area as shown per 100,000 in population.
- Gonorrhea- 98.0
- Syphilis- 3.4
These values represent the numbers of persons who have been tested only. Health department authorities believe that the actual numbers would be much higher if more people in at risk groups would get tested.
There is a high level of awareness of the problem with STD rates in the area by local officials. Unfortunately, not all segments of the population are aware of the issues or the causes. The state of Kentucky has followed suit with other legislators and mandated the inclusion of sexual health education classes into the public school curriculum. The overall goal is to reach young people with the facts about the dangers of unprotected sex at the age just prior to when some will begin sexual experimentation. Students who complete these courses will know where to go for a Herpes test or for HIV testing in Fayette, Kentucky.
Studies show that adolescents in the area engage in sexual intercourse at a rate of 44.7 % and of these youth, 46.9% did not use a condom.
Additional campaigns have been launched by the Health Department to educate the public about STD rates and provide them with materials about prevention and treatment options. Reaching the people who are at the highest risk is still a problem that is being addressed through strategic planning and action committees. There are many people walking around with STD infections that are not aware of the fact, because some types present few to no symptoms in the beginning. This is one of the factors that can lead to a rapid spread.
Fayette has a high number of residents who are at or below the poverty level. This is believed to be an additional risk factor because those with less financial resources or more apt to receive less education about sexual health issues and they are less likely to have the resources to obtain quality health care.
Primary and secondary Syphilis rates have increased in the last 6 years placing Kentucky in the 27th position for highest rates in the 50 states. It comes in at 33rd for Chlamydia infections and at 21st for Gonorrhea. The statistics also show a marked increase in HIV and Hepatitis C infections. When left untreated, these diseases can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and certain types of cancers.
Chlamydia rates are the highest for women in the 20 to 24 age group, followed by women 15 to 19. The positive test rates for women are 2.5 times higher than they are for men. Those who are African American have the highest rates followed by White, then Hispanic.
Gonorrhea rates are the highest in males age 20 to 24, followed by those 25 to 29. Black males have the highest rates of positives followed by White, then Hispanic. Women have a slightly lower rate of infection.
All pregnant women are routinely screened for STD infection through prenatal care programs. This helps in identifying infections prior to birth so measures may be taken to protect the unborn babies from infection and complications that may arise.
Health care options are available for the majority of the population, along with STD testing resources. There may be instances when free clinics have exhausted funding resources and there will be a waiting period until the cycle replenishes. Resources are not as big of an issue as reaching people with information that will help them to understand that STD testing is important for the maintenance of their overall health.
If you have had unprotected sex, then there is always the possibility that you may have an STD infection. If you are in any of the groups which are at a higher risk, the urgency increases. The only way to know for certain is to get tested. Confidential STD testing is available for you and your confidentiality will be strictly guarded. If you lack financial resources, there are free clinics that can assist you. Ordering your STD testing is easy and it is fast. It will just take a brief trip to a local lab to complete the process. You’ll find friendly and knowledgeable lab technicians who are happy to administer the test and answer any questions that you may have. In no time, you’ll be out and on your way to enjoy all that beautiful Fayette has to offer. You owe it to yourself and everyone who loves you. You will enjoy the peace of mind that knowing can bring.