The CDC and King County Health Department recently released statistics that indicate the number of sexually transmitted diseases reported annually is rising, and has been for the past twenty years. While the rates have decreased periodically in some demographics, overall the data shows that the picturesque city and surrounding county are currently dealing with a problem that could potentially affect everyone’s health.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea rates are steadily increasing in young women, but the opposite is true for men. Unfortunately this is offset by the growing number of men that test positive for infectious Syphilis and HIV. The statistics also show that it is not just teens and young adults that are testing positive for one or more of these sexually transmitted diseases, but older men are being treated with alarming frequency.
It is the rise in STDs among adults over the age of 25 that has health department officials worried, and this also serves to highlight the growing need for regular testing. Between 2014 and 2016 the rates for all types of infectious Syphilis almost doubled, and the same is also true for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Some of the other statistics that residents should be aware of that highlight the rising STD rates include,
- During the second quarter of 2015 the Chlamydia rate was reported at 2032, compared to 2289 in the second quarter of 2016.
- In the first 6 months of 2016 the Syphilis rate already exceeds that for 2015.
- According to 2015 and 2016 statistics women accounted for the majority of Gonorrhea incidents reported in the county.
The state has made some changes to its current sex education requirements, but the material used is still decided on by the individual public school districts. This means that while students could learn about the risks and dangers associated with STDs and being sexually active, the majority of teens still won’t receive the information they need to protect themselves.
With the public schools still being allowed to choose the material presented to its students, the reason for these changes is no longer valid. The goal of state lawmakers in allowing more information about STDs and sexuality in the public schools is to ensure students know how to protect themselves from transmittable diseases and unplanned pregnancies. If the school districts are not going to take advantage of this opportunity, the STD and teen pregnancy rates will continue to rise.
Since students do not understand how important it is to use protection during sexual activity, it can be relatively easy for them to contract and spread many of the common STDs. While abstinence is encouraged among students, the rising number of teen pregnancies reported each year indicates that this approach is no longer effective. Abstinence can prevent unplanned pregnancies, but since STDs can be spread by a variety of methods it does not provide adequate protection.
This is why regular Herpes testing in Kirkland is so important, especially when it comes to slowing the spread of the virus in area high schools. Regular HIV testing in Kirkland is just as important, and since the simple procedure is the only way to positively identify the disease it could potentially save your life.
While there are several factors contributing to the high STD rates in the city, the main one remains the lack of comprehensive sex education classes. It is not uncommon for teens to graduate from high school not fully understanding the risks and responsibilities associated with being sexually active.
Many teens and even some adults still do not realize the importance of always using protection, even when they are in a monogamous relationship. Sexually transmitted diseases can be spread through a variety of methods, and it is possible for someone to contract a STD without even realizing it. Not all sexually transmitted infections display immediate signs and symptoms, which makes it important for everyone’s continued good health to get tested for STDs on a regular basis.
While there are a few STI clinics in the area for residents to take advantage of, many people still choose to put off regular testing. This is usually due to the long lines that are common at the community health centers, along with and inability to afford the testing fees. Recent budget cuts have forced many community clinics to operate on limited hours, and others to close their doors. When this is combined with Medicaid no longer covering the cost of STD testing, many residents are finding it difficult to take care of their sexual health.
Until these and other contributing factors are resolved the city can expect to see its STD rates continue to rise.
Before you head out for a fun day at the lake it is important to take a few minutes to take care of your sexual health. Even though there are community health centers in the city that residents can take advantage of, the long lines and crowded waiting rooms has many of them looking for a more convenient option. Now you can easily schedule confidential STD testing with one quick phone call. This way you can take care of your sexual health and still have plenty of time to explore this beautiful area.