The CDC and Hamilton County Health Department recently released statistics that show the number of sexually transmitted diseases reported each year are rising, and have been for the past two decades.
According to the state health department the incident rates for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis have reached 10 year highs, and are not showing any signs of slowing down. HVP diagnoses are also increasing in frequency, especially in men.
While teens and young adults continue to present the greatest risk for contracting any of the commonly transmitted sexual diseases, the incident rates are rising in older residents. Men over the age of 28 are among those seeing a sudden increase in positive Syphilis and Gonorrhea tests, and this is also true regarding HIV. The majority of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses are occurring in men 22 years and older.
Older women are also testing positive more often for Chlamydia, along with Herpes, though these rates still remain highest for younger females. Women under the age of 22 are also more likely to test positive for Gonorrhea and HPV.
What these statistics are showing is that STDs can affect anyone, regardless of age or sexual activity. This also means that it is important for everyone to be tested on a regular basis. Some of the other statistics that highlight the growing STD problem in the area include,
- According to the state health department the suburb and metro area ranked 12th in the nation for its high STD rate.
- In 2016 an estimated 85 percent of residents that were diagnosed with HIV also tested positive for Hepatitis C.
- Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis rates are at their highest since 2004, according to 2015 statistics.
Even with STD and teen pregnancy rates rising the state still refuses to make any changes to the current sex education program. Currently the state does require all public school systems to offer sex education, but the material used must be abstinence based.
This is leaving students without the information they need to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases.
Instead of learning how to use a condom, students are taught that they only way to protect themselves is to abstain from sexual activity. Teens rarely learn that STDs can be spread through a variety of methods, and even kissing can result in a sexually transmitted disease. This is one of the most common ways Herpes is spread among teens and young adults.
While abstaining from intercourse will prevent unplanned pregnancies, it is not effective at stopping the spread of most STDs.
If teens learned how important regular Herpes testing in Fishers is, it would be possible to finally slow the spread of the virus through area high schools. Even though information on regular HIV testing in Fishers is taught per federal requirements, most students still do not understand how important it is. The simple procedure only takes a few minutes and could potentially save your life.
There are several reasons why the STDs rates are rising in this suburban community. Many residents work and play in the larger city, and this is putting them at risk for contracting any number of sexually transmitted diseases. Since the importance of regular STI testing isn’t widely known, many residents are infected without even realizing it.
Like most of the country the state has suffered financial setbacks. This has led to cutbacks in city health care programs. Several community clinics have been forced to close their doors, and this is making it difficult for residents to find a convenient place to get tested. Adding to the problem are the long lines at the few facilities that are still open, which are causing many residents to put off their testing for another day.
Lower income residents are not only having problems finding a community center that is open, most can’t afford the regular testing fees. Since Medicaid stop covering STD testing the incident rates have been rising steadily across the country.
What is perhaps the biggest contributing factor is the simple lack of comprehensive sex education. Ranked 41st in the nation for its low condom sales and in the top 15 for its high teen pregnancy and STD rates, it is clear that teens need to have access to the information they need. Not only would this help students and young adults protect their sexual health, but everyone else in the community.
Until these and other problems are resolved, this suburban city will continue to see higher than average STD rates.
Before you decide to spend the day enjoying some of the city’s great attractions it is important to take a few minutes to think about your sexual health. The number of STDs reported in the city are rising each year, and this means you should be tested on a regular basis. It is understandable if you don’t want to spend the entire day standing in line at a community clinic, and now there is a faster and easier way. Simply by making one quick phone call you can schedule confidential STD testing and only spend a few minutes at a conveniently located lab.