Additional STD Test Statistics in Madison, AL
A city in your state ranks as the most sexually diseased city in the nation. Montgomery, Alabama ranks higher than larger cities such as Philadelphia, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and New York. Statewide the numbers are not much better with the numbers coming from a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For gonorrhea, the state is ranked second. For chlamydia, the state is ranked third. For primary and secondary syphilis, the rank is twenty-third.
The report for chlamydia cases is 611 cases per 100,000, or 29,464. The report for gonorrhea cases is 173.7 cases per 100,000 reported, or 8,377. For primary and secondary syphilis, the number of cases is 183 cases, or 3.8 cases per 100,000.
Several states in the top ten for STDs are in the southern part of the United States including Louisiana, Texas, and North Carolina. Sexually transmitted disease cases for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in Alabama are nearly double the national average based on population.
Montgomery and Dallas counties have four times the national rate for the diseases. Jefferson, Alabama’s most populous county, has roughly 2.7 times the U.S. incidence of the diseases.
Lawrence Robey, Madison County’s health officer, practices internal medicine and had tried to reduce the rates of STDs in the state. “STD rates have always been high in the south,” Robey said. “It continues to feed from one generation to the next.”
The statewide rate of incidence is about 1.8 times the nationwide rate, with roughly 1,000 cases per 100,000 people. The U.S. rate is 577 per 100,000. Robey notes that often it is the poorer counties that suffer the most.
STD Testing and Sexual Health Education in Madison, AL
In Alabama some instructors and legislators state the value of an abstinence only curriculum. Others question its effectiveness. So there is a debate about sexual education in Alabama.
Funding was cut on the federal level for abstinence-before-marriage education programs in 2017. This included a $10 million a year grant from the Department of Health and Human Services. The new budget proposed increased support for programs and efforts that seek to equip young people with the skills they need to ensure their lifelong sexual health and well-being. This is the statement from the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.
Debate is strong about this in Alabama. It is one of 26 states that does not mandate that sex education be taught in school. Alabama law promotes abstinence as the primary method of sex education taught to students ages 12 to 19. Some question this approach.
They point to statistics on how abstinence only programs fail. But abstinence-only remains the primary curriculum taught in half of the U.S., including Alabama. Some feel more education should be centered around prevention of HIV, STDs, and pregnancy.
Alabama does not mandate sex education, but does have guidelines. The state requires that school systems teaching sex education must include and emphasize that abstinence from sexual intercourse is the only completely effective protection against unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome when transmitted sexually. It must also include an emphasis on the importance of self-control and ethical conduct pertaining to sexual behavior.
Abstinence from sexual intercourse outside of lawful marriage is the expected social standard for unmarried school-age persons. Education can also cover statistics based on the latest medical information that indicate the degree of reliability of various forms of contraception.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Demographics in Madison, AL
Demographics play a role in the rates of STIs in your city, region, and state. With the state including the city ranked the most sexually diseased city in the nation, many people in your state are suffering from STDs.
With STI rates high, teen pregnancy rates are high also as some question whether abstinence only has worked in education. In 2014 the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy ranked Alabama among the top 10 states with the highest rates of teen pregnancy. That same year, a health and wellness report published by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) showed that there were approximately 5,084 births to mothers from the age of 15 to the age of 19.
The Alabama counties ranking highest among teen birth rates were Tuscaloosa (216 births), Madison (256 births), Montgomery (281), Mobile (499), and Jefferson County, which had the highest number of 630 births to teen parents.
With STI rates among the highest in the country, let’s remember that the report on people living with HIV/AIDS in Alabama is also high. In 2014 the CDC released data indicating that Alabama has the 17th highest rate of people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
A telling demographic statistic is that the Alabama AIDS Drug Assistance Program’s 2016 quarterly report revealed that 14 percent of their enrolled clients and 7 percent enrolled in their Alabama Insurance Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance to those who are unable to support their pharmaceutical needs, fell between ages 13 to 24. So poverty and age play a role too.
According to a spokesperson from AIDs Alabama South about forty percent of their active client base is women. Most are women of childbearing age.
They are also seeing a rise in teen numbers. According to a study by the Alabama Department of Public Health, the fastest growing demographic for HIV cases is among African American men. A reason for problems with getting the word out is funding.
Alabama is in the Bible Belt and that is a factor as legislators are dealing with what they think is against God’s will. Alabama law states that instructors must emphasize that homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable by the general public. Homosexual conduct is a criminal offense under the laws of the state.
STI Testing Resources in Madison, AL
There are STI testing resources available in your city and region. The Madison County Health department provides STD testing. This is at both Berea and Richmond Clinic locations. Call for an appointment or walk in to schedule an appointment for the same day if an appointment is available.
These facilities now offering Clearview Rapid HIV testing. To administer the test, you get a finger stick procedure and give a drop of blood to perform the test while you wait.
The results are available within 15-20 minutes after you get the test. This type of testing is fast and accurate.
Additional testing could be needed to confirm a questionable result. For more details, ask one of the clinic nurses for more information about the Clearview Rapid HIV test.
STD testing services are provided at a nominal fee. The fee is not based on income. You will not be denied services if you cannot pay. A variety of services can be covered by Medicaid, private insurance, or self-pay.
The health department has HPV vaccines for both men and women ages 19-26. The cost could be free.
Planned Parenthood/Birmingham Center is another option but it is about 1.5 hours from you. This location could be a place for you to go for information and testing for both males and females plus get treatment if needed. Covered is testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, and other STDs. The staff is trained to work with someone in your situation.
An area hospital is another option. Other testing options are available with STD Test Express as one of the options for chlamydia and gonorrhea testing and treatment, with you calling for an appointment.
This is an option if you feel embarrassed to be seen in line at Planned Parenthood or go to a doctor or hospital. The results are delivered to you and no one else, not being reported to your insurance or placed into your medical records. The service also provides guidance and support if you need treatment
Better Sexual Health in Madison, AL
Information about testing and treatment is available whether you go to an area hospital, Planned Parenthood/Birmingham Center, or another organization or service in your area. While STD rates are high in your area and state, with some of the highest rates in the country, help is available in your city.
This is 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 Planned Parenthood/Birmingham Center or any other facility reminding you to check your health, improve it, and keep yourself healthy by always using a condom.
A counsellor or nurse at James Clemens High School could help. Madison Hospital of Huntsville can also help. Here are links to some of the resources mentioned above.