When health officials first saw the statistics for Lakewood and surrounding Jefferson County they were pleasantly surprised to see that Gonorrhea rates were slowly decreasing. While the statistics showed that the number of residents who test positive for this sexually transmitted disease is decreasing, the same is not true for Chlamydia and Syphilis rates.
Not only are the number of women and men diagnosed with Chlamydia increasing each year, primary and secondary Syphilis incidents are also on the rise. This is especially alarming for health officials who thought that they had Syphilis under control since the late 1980’s, but statistics indicate that over the last twenty years this STD has been making a comeback,
Syphilis is not only affecting teens and young adults, it is also becoming more common in older men. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea is still more prevalent in young adults, but these STDs are also turning up more frequently in older residents. What really has health officials concerned is that it is no longer uncommon to find that residents are testing positive for more than one STD at a time.
Other statistics that are causing health professionals in the area to admit that there is an ongoing problem with sexually transmitted diseases include,
- In 2010 the country ranked 33rd in the state with a Chlamydia rate of 181.5 per 100,000 residents.
- The area ranked 13 in the state in 2010 for its Syphilis rate.
- There were 140 cases of Gonorrhea reported in the county during the twelve month period in 2010.
The state of Colorado has recently enacted legislation that requires all public schools to offer comprehensive and medically accurate sexual education classes to its students. The information taught is based on students’ ages, and covers everything from abstinence to how to properly use contraceptives. HIV studies and medically accurate information regarding its spread and treatment are also mandatory in the new classes.
These new classes are in response to the growing number of teens that are testing positive for a sexually transmitted disease. Previously district schools relied on abstinence only programs which were effective at slowly down the teen pregnancy rate, but did little to stop the spread of STDs. While parents can still opt to keep their children out of the classes, officials are hopeful that the majority of students will benefit from the new information.
While implementing sexual education classes in public schools is a positive step towards reducing the spread of STDs, it is still important for students and their families to get tested for all venereal diseases. Regular Herpes testing in Lakewood can help slow down the spread of the virus in high schools, and the simple procedure is quick and painless. Regular HIV testing in Lakewood is also critical for your health and that of others, and it could potentially save your life.
There are several demographical factors affecting the STDs in this rural city, which includes its location. Even though it is located in one of the most populous counties, there is still a shortage of community health centers due to its geography and the fact that residents are frequently spread out over greater distances. Since it is not always easy to find a clinic and many residents don’t have the time to spend hours waiting in line, many simply forego the important screening simply hoping that they are not at risk or already infected.
Intravenous drug use is also on the rise, especially among older Caucasian men which is one of the main reasons Syphilis incidents are on the rise. These same residents are also staying sexually active longer which only increases their risks of contracting an STD, and this is another reason why more people are testing positive for more than one sexually transmitted disease at a time. Without regular testing, many residents never know that they have at least one STD until they have already infected others.
Students and families living in more remote locations often do not have access to the information they need to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases, and this also includes teens who are home schooled. It is not uncommon for parents to find it difficult to teach their own children about STDs and engaging in safe sex, but until everyone understands the dangers the number of residents who test positive for a venereal disease will continue to rise.
With the mountains to explore and the Great Plains it is easy to keep putting off getting tested for STDs, even knowing that the incident rate is on the rise. It is important for your health and that of the people around you to get tested on a regular basis, and now you don’t have to spend hours waiting in long lines at one of the few health facilities in the area. You can easily schedule confidential STD testing with one quick and easy phone call, and only spend 20 minutes or so at a nearby lab. This still gives you plenty of time to hike the mountain trails or go camping on the Great Plains.