According to statistics recently released by the CDC, along with the health departments in Jefferson and Shelby Counties this suburban city is dealing with a startling high STD rate. What is even more surprising to most residents is to learn that the infection rates have been steadily rising for the past two decades.
The rates for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis are well above national averages, and it is not only teens and young adults that are testing positive with increasing frequency. Unfortunately, these are also not the only STD rates that are rising in the area. The number of new HIV incidents is also increasing, along with those for viral Hepatitis. Even area high schools are reporting a rise in Herpes infections.
While women ages 18 to 22 are among those with the highest risk for contracting Chlamydia, men are almost twice as likely to test positive for Gonorrhea. The same is also true regarding Syphilis and HIV. What might be surprising to some residents is the fact that these diseases are affecting everyone, regardless of sexual preference.
Older residents are also starting to find themselves at an increased risk, especially for Syphilis and HIV. The recent statistics show that men over the age of thirty are testing positive more often, and this has health officials worried.
Some of the other statistics that highlight the growing importance of regular testing include,
- In 2012 the Chlamydia Gonorrhea and Syphilis rates for the area was 2.7 times higher than the national average.
- The STD rates for the 3 common sexually transmitted diseases were the second highest in the state, according to 2014 statistics.
- It was reported in 2014 that the city and surrounding metro area had the 17th highest HIV rate in the nation.
Unfortunately for teens and young adults the state does not require its public schools to teach sex education. Students will learn about HIV/AIDS, but this short lesson is generally all the information they will receive concerning sexually transmitted diseases. The few school systems that do provide sex education classes rely solely on abstinence based material, and this is leaving teens ill-prepared to protect themselves from STDs.
Instead of learning how to use a condom students are often encouraged to sign an “abstinence pledge”. While this can prevent unplanned pregnancies, it does little to stop the spread of STDs. Studies have also conclusively shown that even teens that agree to practice abstinence are often still sexually active.
The lack of comprehensive sex education classes is a problem in public school systems across the city. It is not uncommon for teens to graduate from high school not understanding the risks and responsibilities that come with being sexually active, and this is putting everyone’s health at risk.
With regular HIV testing in Hoover the city’s high infection rate could start to decrease. The simple procedure is also the only way to detect this potentially deadly disease. If students learned how important regular Herpes testing in Hoover is they could start to protect themselves from this easily transmittable virus.
There are several reasons why this suburban city is seeing a rise in its STD rates. Recent budget cuts to health care have forced many STI clinics to close their doors, and this is making it difficult for residents to find a place to get tested. Lower income residents are also having problems affording the cost of regular testing now that it is no longer covered under Medicaid.
The city also boasts a unique location, and some residents blame this for the high STD rates. Not only is the suburb part of one of the largest cities in the state, it is also situated in two counties. One of these counties being the most populous in the state. While the suburb’s actual STD rate is lower than those found in both counties, it is important to remember that it still higher than average.
What is considered the main contributing factor to the city’s high STD rate is the lack of comprehensive sex education. It is not uncommon for teens to graduate not knowing how to properly use a condom, and most do not fully understand how STDs are spread. This means that they are not protecting themselves from any of the commonly spread STDs.
Not only is this putting teens and young adults’ sexual health at risk, but also that of everyone they come in contact with.
Before you decide to spend the day shopping or at one of the scenic parks, it is important to take a few minutes to think about your sexual health. It is understandable if you don’t want to spend the day waiting in a long line, and now there is a faster and easier way to get tested. With one simple phone call you can schedule confidential STD testing and only spend a few minutes at a local lab. This way you’ll still have time to enjoy your day.