It’s true that the rate of STD’s is on the rise everywhere, and this oceanside city is no exception. Its rising number of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis cases continue to grow particularly among the young. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are climbing, especially among women, African-Americans and youth. A large number of incidences of STD’s reported in the area is thought to be linked to the high number of cases reported in area universities.
Many sexually active high school students still don’t use condoms, putting them at high risk for not only pregnancy but STD’s as well. This explains the prevalence of STD’s being dominate among young people age 15-24. If you look back a few decades, the increase in the number of STD’s in the area has been steadily rising. However, some of the growth is due in part to the growing number of senior citizens that have moved to the area and are still sexually active.
Sex education is a required part of the high school curriculum in the city’s public schools. Students are required to take and pass the course that is worth half a credit. This course is aimed at educating students on the dangers of STD’s and the need to get tested and practice safe sex. Much of the problem when it comes to the spread of STD’s is the fact that many young people in the city don’t get tested and as a result, don’t know their status. Testing is being highlighted as another way that a person protects themselves.
Unfortunately, poverty seems to go hand in hand with a lack of education, thus making it easy to understand the relationship between poverty and high incidences of STD’s among the poor. The poor often have fewer resources to quality healthcare and education and are often uninformed when it comes to many sexual behaviors that put them at risk for disease and illness.
Being poor should not limit access to quality healthcare and education. Most people understand that education is a key component to lowering the prevalence of STD’s among the poor and disadvantaged. The problem is often two-fold, with STD’s heavily impacting both the young and the poor, education has become a tool used in both the school system as well as healthcare facilities located in lower socio-economic areas.
Young people represent a portion of those leading the pack in STD’s that require special attention, focus, and education. The CDC’s commitment to school programs shows this fact. With the large amounts of misinformation being passed around by young people, it’s easy to be misinformed and unprotected.
The city’s rising STD count is a solid reason why every sexually active individual should be tested regularly. If long waits are a concern you can always schedule confidential STD testing and only spend a few minutes at a local lab. Regardless of the testing facility you choose, the most important factor is getting tested and knowing your status. Many people are living with STD’s and they don’t even know it. The statistics just report all the known cases. Who know how many unknown cases exist.
With the number of testing facilities continually increasing there is no longer an excuse not to get tested. Most areas of the city have a STI facility that is convenient enough to get to and some of these testing centers even offer expedited results. Poverty and youth shouldn’t bar a person from getting vital education and testing. These benefits are available to everyone.