As of 2013, the last available year of reporting through Nevada’s Department of Health a Human Services, there were more than 14,000 cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia reported statewide. For each STD, Clark County, the home of Las Vegas, represents between 75 – 90% of the reported cases for the entire state. This isn’t news for many residents, though, since Clark County has a long history of reporting more STDs than any other county in the state. Even back in 2000, Las Vegas’ home county made up over 80% of all reported cases.
Currently, the health board in Nevada offers a number of resources for people to obtain STD Testing but its education efforts have been the focus of recent and widespread criticism. When the new protocols for sex education in Clark County were released in early 2015, it was widely criticized for its abstinence-only approach. Clark County students found a novel way to air their own grievances with the county’s long standing tradition of abstinence-only sex education by participating in a news segment on the popular shows.
While the students used humor to highlight the problem with this approach to sex education, the effects of the segment on the show has created a wave of reform throughout the district. With reported cases of all STDs on the rise, the school board is beginning to realize how important high quality sex education can be in the prevention of STDs.
Both Herpes and HIV have become hot topics for medical professionals throughout the county. Currently, Nevada ranks 18th in the country for HIV cases and advocates worry a lack of education has helped the disease to spread throughout the state. Herpes, on the other hand, is an unfortunate mainstay in Sin City with several rumors and scandals involving the tenacious STD being reported for several years, including the infamous 2011 ” Herpes Run”. While this may seem like nothing more than some fodder for trashy gossip, the casual way it’s reported shows just how prevalent the condition is.
While there are plenty of options for both HIV and Herpes testing in Las Vegas, too few take the time to get it done. The Southern Nevada Health District makes it a point to advertise its services for HIV testing in Las Vegas as well as their services for case management for patients who test positive. But, as with any offering of testing and related services through public STD Clinics, many people worry about the confidentiality and privacy.
Some people may assume that the spike in STD cases is a direct result of the legalized prostitution available in Nevada, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, a study conducted in 2012 found that actors in the adult entertainment industry in Los Angeles were far more likely to have an STD than legal prostitutes in Nevada since the states requires those workers to comply with weekly STD testing in order to check for any sign of infection.
That being said, there’s no doubt that sexually transmitted diseases are still a serious issue in the city. Many people are still reluctant to get tested until they begin to see symptoms which, in some cases, signifies the infection is fairly advanced. This is especially true for younger people who don’t have the same access to quality sex education. Generally speaking residents with less access to education and other resources are more at-risk as are younger people who are also more likely to take risks such as unprotected sex. In 2013, people aged 20-29 made up more than half of all reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
Information from: http://health.nv.gov/CD_HIV_STDProgram.htm
People may joke that ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ but that simply isn’t the case when it comes to sexually transmitted infections or diseases. For residents and tourists alike, obtaining a Private STD test in Las Vegas can help to ensure that their time in Las Vegas doesn’t mean taking home unwanted souvenirs. More importantly, connecting with these clinics and health professionals offers people the opportunity to better understand the ways in which they can protect themselves and their sexual partners. Confidential STD testing is available, accessible and easy making it the one sure bet people can count on along the Las Vegas Strip.