STD Testing and Sexual Health Education in Lakewood, CA
A recent law requires that all California public school students take sex education beginning in seventh grade. Parents can have their kids opt out of the program if the parents submit a document to the school or district. Then the student will not learn about issues covered such as body image, contraception, and HIV awareness and prevention as these are the topics covered.
The law is called the California Health Youth Act. It attempts to standardize and update sex education in the state. This education must now include gender identity. Before, sex education was optional meaning that if parents wanted their children to take a sex education class, they had to sign up for it.
The new law integrates sex health education with HIV prevention education. The bill renamed the California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act to the new name. School districts must now provide to all pupils in grades seven to twelve with comprehensive sex health education and HIV prevention education.
The most comprehensive sex education in the state covers everything from sexual orientation to abusive relationships. Educators say that seventh grade is the best time to start teaching students about these sexual health issues.
The new act has the purpose to provide pupils with the knowledge and skills needed to protect their sexual and reproductive health from HIV and other STIs and from unintended pregnancy. An additional goal is to provide pupils with the knowledge and skills to develop a healthy attitude concerning adolescent growth and development, body image, gender, sexual orientation, relationships, marriage, and family.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Demographics in Lakewood, CA
Demographics play a role in the problems with STIs in your city, county, and state with the problems especially acute in Los Angeles County with the county having some of the most cases and highest rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in California and the nation.
Some experts on the STI rates in your area report that the people most likely to be infected are those who are 25 and younger and these are also the people least likely to seek testing. These experts also point to heavy use of online dating apps as a reason for high STI rates but the exact reason for the increase in STI rates is something we do not know.
Officials are unsure why there has been such a big jump both in the state and nationwide rates. They think it could be because people aren’t using condoms as regularly, or are unknowingly spreading infections because they’re going without testing and treatment. STD-prevention systems have been weakened because local and state clinics have reduced capacity or closed in the last few years.
A few years ago, a testing campaign was launched by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The campaign showed that it is difficult to get people to go to one of the county’s twelve STD clinics.
With 2015 rates of STIs at an all time high, in the past syphilis was close to elimination in the 2000s but that is not true today. Reasons are complex but could include a lack of adequate screening and decreased fear of curable STDs.
In California the highest STD rates are with young people, African-Americans/Blacks, and gay and bisexual men, according to state reports. There are also reports that doctors are not using a state law that allows them to prescribe extra medication that a patient can give to their sexual partner who may not be willing to come in for an appointment.
Fear of unprotected sex or multiple partners may be decreasing. In the 1980s and 1990s fear came from seeing people with AIDs dying. Now advanced treatments can control HIV better.
STI Testing Resources in Lakewood, CA
Your city and areas throughout Los Angeles county provide you with opportunities for STI Testing.
Planned Parenthood/Lakewood Health Center is one option where both English and Spanish are spoken. With both Medicaid and Medi-cal accepted, the center offers STI services to include testing, diagnosis, and treatment of bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, genital warts, herpes, and trichomoniasis. HIV testing and diagnosis are also provided as are STD prevention services including condoms and a hepatitis B vaccine, all available at the Lakewood Health location where the staff is sensitive to your concerns.
An approach to testing in your area is with STD tests ordered online and mailed to homes. You provide a sample, send it back to a lab, and get results. The results come in a few days. You should make sure the tests are accurate and have an established reputation, experts warn. The testing could be in someone’s garage and not accurate. We should collect data on how well these work and get approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell similar tests in stores. As it is now, the tests do not need to be cleared by the FDA to be sold online.
In 2009, L.A. County started offering kits online that test for chlamydia and gonorrhea to women under 25 as these women should to have annual screenings for the two infections because they’re considered high risk and bear the brunt of the consequences of most STDs. This was an option for people who were not coming in to get tested.
Planned Parenthood launched an app in California through which men and women can order chlamydia and gonorrhea tests. Another example is the myLAB Box, which sells test kits online for chlamydia and gonorrhea, HIV, trichomoniasis, and hepatitis C. The kits require a urine sample and a vaginal swab or blood from a finger prick to send to the lab. At home testing kits are becoming more common in the healthcare industry. A kit is convenient and for STI testing it saves a patient from having a potentially embarrassing conversation with their doctor.
Some worry that as these tests become more popular, it will be difficult to make sure people are getting treated once they’re diagnosed. In Los Angeles County’s Health Department only about half of the kits mailed out were returned for testing.
You could also go to an area hospital or urgent care center such as the Med Post Urgent Care Center. Another service in the area is one like the STD Check Discounts.
Better Sexual Health in Lakewood, CA
Whether you go to Lakewood Health Center/Planned Parenthood, a high school counsellor or nurse at an area high school, an online service, or a clinic or hospital such as the Lakewood Regional Medical Center, you can find in your area information about STDs, testing, and treatment.
While STD rates are high in the Los Angeles County area, help is available in your city in the way of testing and treatment that is confidential, discreet, compassionate, and effective, with many facilities having a bilingual staff.
Consider how the staff at these facilities is trained to help someone like you, especially with the staff at Lakewood Health Center/Planned Parenthood or any other facility reminding you to check your health, improve it, and keep yourself healthy by always using a condom.
Here are the links to resources mentioned above.