Before taking the tram up Mount Roberts or visiting the magnificent Mendenhall Glacier it is important to take a minute and visit one of the STD clinics in Juneau, Alaska and get tested for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Herpes, Hepatitis B, C, Syphilis and HIV. The number of sexually transmitted diseases is on the rise and while there is free STD testing centers in Juneau, AK many residents are still putting off this important health check-up. Now you can schedule private STD testing with one simple phone call and only spend 15 to 20 minutes at the local lab, which still gives you plenty of time to make it to the summit of Mount Roberts to see an amazing sunset.
Recent statistics show that the STD rates have been steadily rising in Juneau and Alaska for the past twenty years. While some optimistic city and state leaders point out that the percentage of residents who tested positive for some sexually transmitted diseases did decline during the twenty year period, health officials are quick to point out that the statistics are now showing that these numbers are on the rise.
While the Alaskan capital might have fewer residents than most other major cities, it and the state still managed to have the highest incident rate for Chlamydia in 2010 and 2011. What is even more alarming is that these statistics show that Juneau has consistently ranked in the top percentile nationally since 2000.
It is not only Chlamydia incidents that are on the rise, but Gonorrhea rates are also among the highest in the nation. Some promising news is that these rates did decrease between 2010 and 2011, but this still places the city among the top ten percent in the country.
Some of the other statistics that have city and state health officials concerned include;
- There were 5,813 residents diagnosed with Chlamydia in 2011, with the majority of the cases occurring in residents under the age of 30.
- In 2011 there were 993 cases of Gonorrhea reported in Juneau and Alaska.
- During the first quarter of 2013 there were 23 new cases of HIV reported in the state and city.
- Syphilis infections rose more than 50 percent between 2012 and 2013.
One of the best ways to prevent the spread of STDs is to educate students and residents about the dangers associated with engaging in unprotected sex, and the Juneau school system does have a program in place.
While a recent law does state that schools must teach teens about the dangers and risks associated with becoming sexually active and how to prevent the spread of STDs, some lawmakers are stating that these classes are illegal and promote child prostitution.
It seems that educating students on how to protect themselves can actually be viewed as adults pushing teens to become sexually active, and these city leaders only want schools to promote the federally funded abstinence only programs. While abstinence can prevent teen pregnancy, it does not stop the spread of STDs nor protect students from contracting one.
Without these educational programs in place students and their parents do not realize the importance of regular STD testing. Not all sexually transmitted diseases are only spread through intercourse, and some like Herpes can be spread simply through casual contact. With STD rates going up across the city and state, it has never been so important for residents to be tested regularly.
Regular Herpes testing in Juneau can prevent the spread of the virus, which is commonly found in high schools. Regular HIV testing is also important for good sexual health, and the simple procedure can help save your life.
Demographics play a key role in a city’s STD rates, and this includes ethnicity, age, gender and income. Juneau residents also have to take into account the long cold winters which also bring large amounts of snow that can make traveling to a STD clinic difficult, and even dangerous.
Along with the city’s conservative beliefs that stress abstinence over education, there is also a large population of Native Americans who have a deep mistrust of the government. This can make it difficult for health officials to stress the importance of regular STD testing.
The long cold winters and short periods of daylight can make travel to community health centers difficult, and even impossible. The cold weather also forces many residents to stay inside and come up with ways to entertain themselves. Without comprehensive sexual education programs in place in the city schools, many residents do not realize that they may be putting their health at risk when they engage in “winter sex”.
Other demographical issues that are contributing to the rising STD rates also include a shortage of community health centers, and an inability to afford regular testing. With heat and electricity often at a premium many residents simply cannot afford regular STD testing.
Until residents, health officials and city leaders can devise a way to inform every one of the dangers of being sexually active and stress the importance of regular STD testing the city of Juneau can expect to see its rate of sexually transmitted diseases continue to rise above national averages.
Before heading up to the summit of Mount Roberts or touring the beautifully designed Glacier Gardens Rainforest it is important to take a few minutes and take care of your sexual health. While there are a few community health centers in the city the long lines and fear of running into a familiar face has many residents searching for a more convenient alternative. Now you can schedule confidential STD testing with one quick and easy phone call and only spend 20 minutes or so at the local lab, which still gives you plenty of time to catch a ride on the tram or visit the Alaska State Centennial Museum and brush up on your history.