The statistics show that a number of STDs remain serious problems in the state, for example,
- The state had 147.9 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 people compared to 123.9 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 people for the whole of the United States in 1990.
- Since that time, the rate has continued to climb in both Hawaii and the United States, but with the single exception of 2011 when Hawaii had 436.6 cases per 100,000 people compared to the United States’ 453.4 cases per 100,000 people, it has been rising faster in the state than in the rest of the country.
- Likewise, 87 adults and adolescents are estimated to have been diagnosed with HIV in 2013, while there were 3.3 cases of syphilis per 100,000 people in the same period of time.
- It is interesting to note that cases of Hepatitis A and B fell by 50 and 40 percent, but remain problematic because of the sheer number of people who have been infected but remain ignorant of that fact.
For the most part, Honolulu County is in a worse situation than the state of Hawaii as a whole when it comes to STDs, but not so much so that the two become incomparable.
For example, the county has 0.8 cases of early latent syphilis per 100,000 people compared to the state’s 0.7 cases per 100,000 people as well as 2.2 cases of primary and secondary syphilis per 100,000 people compared to the state’s 1.7 cases per 100,000 people.
This impression is further strengthened by how the county has 200.7 cases of HIV per 100,000 people compared to the state’s 202 cases per 100,000.
In contrast to these STDs, Honolulu County has higher rates compared to the rest of the state when it comes to both chlamydia and gonorrhea, as shown by how it has 528.8 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 people compared to the state’s 461.2 cases per 100,000 people and 75.5 cases of gonorrhea per 100,000 people compared to the state’s 59.3 cases per 100,000 people.
Summed up, it is clear that Honolulu County’s situation is more concerning than that of the state as a whole, though it is perhaps unsurprising considering its status as a tourist hotspot.
The Board of Education in the state passed Policy 103.5 in June of 2015, which replaced the previous abstinence-based program with something more comprehensive. In brief, the new policy mandates the teaching of abstinence, contraception, and prevention methods for STDs. Furthermore, the policy mandates informing students about the sexual health resources that are available to them within their communities, which should enable them to make better choices when combined with the other priorities laid out in the text.
All of this is important because a recent survey of Hawaii’s high school students suggests that sexual health education could prove useful. For example, 22.3 percent of the people surveyed stated that they were sexually active in the sense that they had at least one partner within the last three months, but no more than 48 percent of them reported using a condom and no more than 27 percent of them reported using some kind of birth control.
Even worse, 20 percent of the people surveyed stated that they had used either drugs or alcohol before having sex, which is known to increase their chances of making a serious mistake that could affect their sexual health for the worse by impairing their judgment. Combined, these revelations could explain much about some of the trends that have been happening within the state in recent decades.
Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, Honolulu, HI has a population with an age distribution that resembles that of their counterparts in the rest of the United States. For example, the median age was 40 for males and 43 for females, which are not that far off from the median age of 41.3 for the country as a whole. However, what is interesting is the city’s racial makeup, which consisted of 54.8 percent Asian, 17.9 percent White, 8.4 percent Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 16.3 percent who identified as two or more races.
Regardless, it is important to note that none of these groups are safe from the threat of STDs. For example, younger demographics tend to be either less cautious, less well-informed, or both, meaning that they tend to be more at-risk from STDs because they are not making use of all the precautions that are available to them.
At the same time, older demographics should be lulled into complacency on this matter just because they are statistically less at-risk, seeing as how they can be just as prone to suffering from such problems should they fail to make use of the same precautions. This is particularly true because of the sheer number of tourists who visit Honolulu on a regular basis, which results in a fair amount of casual sex that in turn, results in a faster spread of STDs through both them and the local population.
Based on the evidence presented so far, it is clear that STDs remain a serious threat in the city of Honolulu, HI. However, residents should know that they can protect their sexual health so long as they are willing to put in the time and effort needed to do so. In part, this will consist of taking the appropriate precautions when they have sex. However, they should also make use of STD clinics that offer private STD testing, which will provide them with up-to-date information about their sexual health in a confidential manner, thus enabling them to make the best decisions for themselves going forward.