Little Rock, AR is a friendly southern city that enjoys entertaining the hordes of visitors that come to enjoy the atmosphere. There are opportunities for entertainment, sports events, museum tours, shopping and fine dining in town. The city has plenty residents and visitors, but the local officials are also aware of the growing problem of STD infection. Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Herpes, HIV and Hepatitis B and C numbers are on the rise. There are STD clinics which offer private STD testing and free STD testing centers are available for those who cannot afford the fees, based upon income levels. STD testing is easy to order and can be completed with a 15 to 20 minute visit to a local lab.
STD testing centers, private physicians and hospitals which administer STD testing, report the data and statistics to the Center for Disease Control in order to help find solutions for the growing numbers of positive test results. No personal information is shared so your confidentiality is strictly maintained. They share data such as region, gender, age and ethnicity. Providing this type of information is useful for the analysts that compile the data in order to help identify the specific groups of people who are the most at risk for certain kinds of sexually transmitted diseases. The following information shows recent statistics regarding the number of cases of STDs reported in the region per 100,000 persons in population.
- Chlamydia – 565.4
- Gonorrhea- 146.6
- Syphilis – 15.9
These are the numbers of positive test results which have been reported. Analysts use the data that is provided by various testing facilities to arrive at these figures. Health experts believe that the numbers would actually be much higher if everyone who at risk for infection would get tested. One of the greatest problems faced by Health Department professionals is reaching at risk groups with information about their risk, where they can go for testing, and most important, how to prevent infection and spread of these serious health conditions.
Both local and national officials recognize that the problem of STD infection requires a call to action. Schools within the region have implemented a mandatory infusion of sexual health education into the standard public school curriculum. The goal is to reach young people just prior to the age at which sexual experimentation will begin for some of them. Students who attend these courses will understand where to go in Little Rock, AR for Herpes testing or where they can go for HIV testing if they believe that they are at risk or may have been exposed. They learn about the dangers of unprotected sex and the consequences which can arise such as unwanted pregnancy or STD infection. In addition, they learn about the symptoms for each particular disease so they will know what to be on the alert for.
Communities with high levels of poverty are believed to be among those highest at risk. The reason for this is that many people who lack financial resources have fewer options for educational opportunities along with the funds to seek quality health care. While the public schools offer education, many people are beyond this age and they may not understand how risky unprotected sex can be. Often, people are infected with sexually transmitted diseases, and because some present few or no symptoms at the onset, they spread the diseases without knowing that they are infected.
Although there are clinics that offer private and testing rates which are free or reduced, there may be periods in which the funds have been depleted and they must wait until the next funding cycle is renewed to get free testing. This can lead to a further spread of STDs in the area.
Chlamydia is one of the most prolific STDs with the highest rates among women in the 20 to 24 age group, followed by those age 15 to 19. Women are at triple the risk for this disease than men. Blacks show the highest number of positive tests, followed by Whites, then Hispanics in the area.
Gonorrhea infections are the highest among men in the 20-=24 age group, followed by those 25 to 29. The rates of infection for men is significantly higher than those for women. Black men have the highest numbers of infection, followed by Hispanic men, then White men.
Cases of Chlamydia are higher in the State of Arkansas than they are in the State of Nebraska, Wisconsin and Texas. Efforts are being made by local health care professionals in conjunction with concerned civic groups who understand that there is a real need to reach out to educate all sectors of the community. Until the numbers begin to decline, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to slow the spread of these serious diseases.
The first step in addressing the problem is to make sure that everyone is informed about the rising cases of STD infection in the region. They must be made aware of the risk that anyone who has unprotected sex faces, particularly those who are within the highest risk groups.
If you believe that you are at risk for an STD infection, the best course of action for you to take is to get tested. Testing is very easy to order and completing the testing process can be done in a few moments at your local testing lab. You’ll find friendly and professional technicians available to assist you and answer any questions that you might have. You can get confidential testing done quickly and your results will be on their way so you won’t have to worry or wonder if you have any of these health conditions. STDs can affect a person’s reproductive system and many other systems within the body if undiagnosed and untreated. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to protect your health so you can live a long, healthy and happy life.