Health care providers, clinics and hospitals gather statistical information for a variety of health related procedures and tests which are conducted. This is to help monitor the health of the area and identify any problem areas that may need to have action taken to keep the public safe. STDs are no different because they pose a significant risk to the health of the citizens. Data is collected so local health departments and the Center for Disease Control will have an awareness of the scope of the problem.
- Gonorrhea- 146.4 (8)
- Syphilis (all stages)- 20.3
The most common of all of these diseases is Chlamydia. Women are diagnosed with twice the frequency as that of men. The most common age is 20 to 24 in both men and women, followed by the 15 to 19 age group for both sexes. The State of North Carolina ranks number 16 in the nation for Chlamydia rates. It places 8th for Gonorrhea with slightly higher rates in males over females. Syphilis rates are also above average when compared with other states in the nation.
With regard to ethnicity, Black Americans have the highest numbers with Hispanics having the second highest overall rates, then American Indians/Alaskan Natives followed by Whites, Asians and mixed race ethnicities.
Demographical information helps to determine which groups of people are at the highest risk for getting STDs. The statistics show that STD infection rates are consistent for specific groups of persons across a decade long study. The only thing that has changed through time is that the numbers are increasing and in many cases, the rates for teenagers are increasing.
Demographic characteristics and their impact on STD testing
The characteristics of the groups of people who are predominant in a community have a definite effect on the rate of STD testing that occurs. It is common for people from impoverished backgrounds to avoid getting tested for a variety of reasons. The chief obstacle is financial limitations. Many cannot afford the cot of testing or treatment. The second obstacle is the unawareness of the programs that make testing affordable or in some cases free. The third obstacle is ignorance of the symptoms of STD infection. Some people who are infected do not know that they have an STD and they unknowingly pass it on to others.
Changes in demographic composition of a city can also have an impact for the better or the worse. Migration of people who are more educated or affluent can cause a lowering STD rates throughout time. It can also have an adverse impact on the rates of a city if higher numbers of people move into an area without the knowledge of safe sex practices or the means and awareness to follow up with needed testing and treatment.
Local, state and federal government agencies have designated funding to be used for raising awareness about the growing STD crisis. Money has also been funneled into assistance programs to help subsidize the costs of testing and treatment. Educational materials are distributed throughout public schools, clinics and other types of healthcare and social service agencies. The effort is being made to reach a higher segment of the population.
Every person who gains the realization that they are at risk for STD infection can make a difference in the scope of the problem. Getting tested is the first step towards lowering STD rates. Each individual who tests positive and follows up with treatment can help to slow the spread while maintaining better health for themselves and for their sexual partners. Taking simple measures to avoid spreading an STD can have a positive impact on multiple people.a STDs can be spread exponentially in populations who maintain multiple partner sexual relationships and in the same manner, those who insist on safe sex practices every time will be making the area a safer environment for others.