This sunny city is the county seat and business center of Lee County, and it is a large tourist destination, dues to popular attractions like the Henry Ford and Edison homes. Just like Edison and Ford, many families were attracted to the area by the beautiful weather, now many retirees are attracted by major league baseball spring training. Both the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins conduct spring training in Fort Myers.
In 2013 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranked the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area 16th in the nation for new HIV diagnoses in 2013. It’s a startling statistic for a region better known as a retirement destination.
According to the Florida Department of Health, gonorrhea, chlamydia and infectious syphilis are up over 150 percent in Lee County for the last twenty years.
These and other alarming statistics show the importance of being STD testing on a regular basis. Some of the other statistics collected by the CDC and the Florida Department of Health include:
- Lee County had a rate of 19.2 new HIV cases per 100,000 residents between 2012 and 2014.
- Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, infectious Syphilis infection rate in 2013 was 399 per 100,000 population.
- In 2015 the Chlamydia infection rate for women 15-19 was dramatically higher at 2,918.9 per 100,000
Facts and charts like these are increasing the awareness in your community of the importance of regular STD testing and how it can help limit the spread of these infections.
Rising rates of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases recently have caused Lee County, Florida school officials to expand health education in local middle schools and high schools. Florida law states that in order for high school students to graduate, they must receive one-half credit in “life management skills” in either ninth or tenth grade. The course must include instruction in the prevention of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), family life, the benefits of sexual abstinence, and the consequences of teen pregnancy. It also states that these “descriptions for comprehensive health education shall not interfere with the local determination of appropriate curriculum which reflects local values and concerns.”
Abstinence-based models are the foundation for most programs, but expanding past these models has offended some community members who were not pleased with this choice. Local churches worry that programs promote condoms too readily and debate the inclusion of “variations in lifestyles” to the list of topics, instead directing the focus on the specifics of health education. This includes a continued debate over the lessons on condom use in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Everyone needs to be aware that viral infections such as Herpes can be transmitted through asymptomatic casual contact, regular Herpes testing is very important, especially when entering a new relationship in Fort Myers, FL. Regular HIV testing is vital to everyone’s health and well being, especially since there are often not any symptoms exhibited until it has turned into full blown AIDS. A quick and easy HIV test can potentially save your life or those you love.
According to the latest Census date the city has a population of 66,167, a median household income of $37,360 and an average age of 40. An estimated 27.7% of the population live below the poverty line, higher than the national average of 15.5%. In 2014 Lee County states 20.3% of adults aged 18-64 lack health insurance and had no doctor visit in past year because of cost.
The area is where one of the main intersections of old and new Florida. The population includes families that live there year round, as well as the “snowbird” population that fills the restaurants and bars during the winter months. It’s a popular tourist destination not just for northern visitors but for the rest of Florida as well.
With so many visitors from outside the region, delivery of health care can be a challenge. Many people are away from their usual, trusted health care professionals and not all insurance plans are usable on vacation to the same extent as they are at home. And frankly, a sore or a cough is just not a priority to deal with when you are trying to make the most out of your time in sunny Florida. The older families in the area are religious, conservative and not as supportive of sexual education programs in local schools, especially those with religious affiliation.
Losses in the provision of services has not helped, since approximately one in five people in the city don’t have health insurance and do not see a doctor regularly. Due to budget cuts by the state, county health departments have lost on average 15-20% of their positions and this area is no exception.
In the late 1800s the sunny city became the winter home for the richest of northern families. As the community grew and changed it became a popular tourist destination. The winter home of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison is beautiful and tranquil, but with all that leisure time comes the threat of sexually transmitted diseases. You should not let the fear of being discovered by a friend at an STD clinic, or the thoughts of spending hours waiting for the opportunity to be seen at a free STD clinic, keep you from STD testing. There is now a resource for you to make an appointment for same day STD testing, avoid the potential embarrassment and save precious vacation time. 20 minutes for your health and the health of the ones you love, then its off to a Red Sox spring game.