Additional STD Test Statistics in Gracewood, GA
The Georgia Department of Public Health reports on Georgia’s STD statistics by district. Gracewood, located in the greater Augusta area, falls into the East Central (Augusta) health district. While the highest STD rates tend to be found in DeKalb County, the rates in the Gracewood area are still concerning.
In 2012, 3,265 cases of Chlamydia were reported in the East Central health district. The rate for that year was 702.4 per 100,000 population. In the Augusta area, the Chlamydia rate has been fluctuating in recent years. However, between 2009 and 2013, the rate in Augusta increased by 17%. Over the same period, the overall Georgia rate increased by 19%. The rate in the area is higher than both the Georgia and U.S. averages.
The East Central district ranked 7th in the state of Georgia for Gonorrhea cases. In 2012, there were 842 cases reported and a rate of 181.1 per 100,000 population. In comparison, Georgia’s overall rate was 155.3 per 100,000 population. The Gonorrhea rate in the Augusta area has remained relatively stable over the past few years. Between 2009 and 2013, the rate decreased by 1%.
The greatest increase among STD rates in the Gracewood area is seen with Primary and Secondary Syphilis. Between 2009 and 2013, the Syphilis rate in the Augusta area increased by 104%. This increase is also reflected throughout the state. In Gainesville, the Syphilis rate increased by 1000% during this period. In 2012, the East Central district ranked 10th in the state for Syphilis.
HIV surveillance reports showed a total of 3,257 cases of newly diagnosed HIV cases in the East Central district in 2012. The highest number of cases were found in the Fulton and DeKalb County districts.
STD Testing and Sexual Health Education in Gracewood, GA
Georgia schools received a failing grade from the CDC for sexual education programs. Investigations into the state’s sexual education programs revealed that many schools do not teach issues related to STDs and HIV. When these topics were taught in local schools, the information was inconsistent and not entirely accurate.
Critical gaps in sexual health education have real and serious consequences for teens and young adults in the state of Georgia. Since a high percentage of Georgia teens are sexually active, students need medically accurate information about sexual health. Guidance about STD and HIV prevention is especially important.
Schools in the Gracewood area include Gracewood Elementary School and Cross Creek High School. Sexual health is included in the curriculum at local schools, although this instruction is not as comprehensive is it is in other schools. Due to instructional gaps in local schools, families must play a more active role in sexual health education.
In addition to testing for HIV and STDs, the Richmond County Health Department provides various social services related to sexual health and wellness. The health department is a good place for sexual education resources and materials. Healthcare professionals are on staff to address the sexual health issues in the area through both education and treatment.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Demographics in Gracewood, GA
In the Gracewood area, STD and HIV rates affect demographic groups differently. Young people are typically most affected by the spread of STDs in Georgia.
Chlamydia rates in the Gracewood area were significantly higher among females. In Georgia, approximately 35,000 cases of Chlamydia were reported among females, compared to about 15,000 among males. Young people showed the highest rates and number of cases. The 15-19 and 20-24 age groups were especially affected by the spread of Chlamydia.
From 2009 to 2013, the Gonorrhea rates for several demographic groups have been on the decline. In 2013, Georgia had an equal number of cases for males and females. Each group had about 6,500 cases in the state. African Americans in the state had the highest rate, although the overall number of cases has been on the decline.
Unlike Gonorrhea, Syphilis rates have been on the rise for many demographic groups. From 2012 to 2013, the number of cases among 25-29 year olds increased by 20%. African Americans in the state are disproportionately affected by the spread of Syphilis. The number of cases is more than triple that of any other ethnic group.
SImilar to nationwide trends, males are most affected by HIV in the Gracewood area. Male-to-male sex is the most common means of transmission for HIV. Gay and bisexual men are most vulnerable to the spread of HIV throughout the United States.
STI Testing Resources in Gracewood, GA
Gracewood is located in the Augusta area and has access to the city’s extensive STI testing resources. In addition to healthcare providers, the local department of health operates several clinics in the area that offer STD testing services.
Richmond County Health Department provides a wide range of STD testing and treatment services in the Gracewood area. The nearest clinic is the South Augusta Clinic. Located at 2420 Windsor Spring Rd, only a few minutes from Gracewood, the clinic offers various sexual health services including Chlamydia Testing, Conventional HIV Blood Testing, Free HIV Testing, Gonorrhea Testing, Hepatitis A Vaccine, Hepatitis B Testing, Hepatitis B Vaccine, HPV Vaccine and Syphilis Testing.
Since the Planned Parenthood in Augusta is permanently closed, residents in the Gracewood area have to travel farther for Planned Parenthood services. The nearest clinic is located in Columbia, South Carolina, about an hour and 20 minutes away from Gracewood. Although this clinic is far, it offers reliable and quality STD testing services. Testing is available for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Herpes and HIV.
Another option for testing in the Gracewood area is Barneys Pharmacy. In addition to pharmacy services, this location provides clinical services including HIV testing. The clinic is located at 2604 Peach Orchard Road in Augusta. Rapid HIV Blood Test and vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B are available at Barneys Pharmacy.
Better Sexual Health in Gracewood, GA
In 2012, the Augusta area ranked 6th for Chlamydia and 7th for Gonorrhea in the state of Georgia. Other health districts had higher rates, but these statistics are still alarming. The rates in the Augusta area were often higher than state and national rates.
This STD data should encourage greater attention to STD testing and treatment resources in the Gracewood area. Testing is available from healthcare providers and at clinics located throughout the area. Don’t be afraid to reach out for STD testing, treatment or counseling.