Recently released statistics for Huntsville and surrounding Madison County show that the area’s STD rates are rising, and have been for the past twenty years.
While health officials weren’t surprised to see that the number of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infections were on the rise in teens and young adults, they were shocked to see the high number of residents who tested positive or were already living with HIV. The growing number of adult males with primary and secondary Syphilis is also causing concern among health professionals.
With African American males still presenting the highest risk of contracting HIV and more women than ever testing positive for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, it has never been so important to get checked regularly for any of the sexually transmitted diseases. Some of the other statistics that indicate the growing problem with STDs in the city and county include;
- In 2009 Madison County had a HIV incident rate of 11.6 per 100,000 residents which climbed to 13.5 percent in 2011.
- Men and women ages 15 to 24 have the highest risk of contracting a STD according to statistics released in 2013.
- There were a total of 773 incidents of Syphilis, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea reported in the county and city in 2013.
- Men and women ages 20 to 24 accounted for over 70 percent of the Chlamydia infections in 2013.
As the number of sexually transmitted infections continues to rise in the area, it is important that everyone understands how important it is to be tested regularly.
Even though statistics show that when there are comprehensive sexual education programs in area schools the number of STD infections reported each year does decrease, the city of Huntsville still relies on the federally sponsored abstinence only classes to protect students.
As more students each year become sexually active, their risk of contracting an STD significantly increases. Without comprehensive programs in place to educate teens about the dangers and risks associated with unprotected sex the city can expect its STD rates to continue to rise.
While proponents for the abstinence based programs point out that it is the best way to prevent teen pregnancies, and this might be true, it does nothing to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases between teens and even adults.
Not all STDs are transmitted strictly through penetration occurring during intercourse, and some venereal diseases can only be detected through regular testing.
This is why it is important for teens and adults to receive regular Herpes testing in Huntsville, since this virus can be easily spread through casual contact. The simple procedure can not only stop the disease from infecting other students, it can also help prevent future flare-ups. Regular HIV testing in Huntsville is also critical for continued good health, and this important checkup could potentially save your life.
The demographics of a city plays an important role in its STD rates, and this is certainly true for Huntsville and surrounding Madison County.
This city has a broad demographical makeup that includes a wide range of incomes and cultural beliefs. The city also has a distinctly conservative attitude along with strict religious beliefs that can make it difficult for teens and even some adults to admit that they are sexually active before marriage. This inability to discuss sexual activity with others, also makes it difficult for some residents to receive regular STD testing.
Adding to the problem are the stereotypes still associated with many of the sexually transmitted diseases, which makes it especially difficult for some men to been seen at a clinic for STD testing. As long as these myths and misconceptions persist, the city will continue to have some of the highest rates of transmittable diseases in the state.
Other demographical issues that are causing the city’s STD rates to skyrocket include a shortage of community health centers, especially in lower income neighborhoods. Residents in some of the city’s poorer areas frequently find it difficult to afford regular STD testing, even when they think that they might have contracted an STD.
Statistics also show that older residents are staying healthy and sexually active longer, which is increasing their chances of contracting an STD. An increase in illicit drug use and more teens becoming sexually active at a younger age are other factors that need to be addressed by city health officials to help start lowering the area’s rate of sexually transmitted diseases.
Until everyone realizes how important it is to practice safe sex and get tested regularly, the city will continue to have some of the highest reports of STDs in the state.
Before you visit Monte Sano State Park or tour the gorgeous botanical gardens it is important to take a few minutes and take care of your sexual health. While there are community health centers in the city, the long lines and fear of running into a familiar face has many residents looking for a better solution. Now you can schedule confidential STD testing with one quick and easy phone call and only spend 20 minutes at the local lab, which still gives you plenty of time to catch a game at the Von Braun Center.