As of 1996, 94.06% percent of Marylanders with AIDS were adults while only 4.23% were young adults or adolescents. 1.71% of the AIDS patients in Maryland were of pediatric age.
The rate of HIV diagnoses in Baltimore rose and fell between 1999 and 2013, with the rate in 1999 being 912 cases reported and the rate in 2013 being 385 cases reported. In total, 31,890 Marylanders had HIV in 2013. That means for every 100,000 people living in the state, 641 of them were HIV positive. That year 23.6% of the state’s residents who had HIV were diagnosed with AIDS within three months of their HIV diagnosis. Only six states reported more cases of HIV in 2013 than Maryland did. The state maintained a high rate of HIV diagnoses in the subsequent years.
The next year there were 1,388 more cases of HIV diagnosed. In this case for every 100,000 residents, 28 of them were diagnosed with HIV in 2014. The year 2015 saw 1,334 reported cases of HIV in the state which included both adolescents 13 and older and adults.
The STDs most commonly contracted by Maryland residents are syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Of the fifty states, Maryland comes in fifth on the list of the most residents suffering from primary and secondary syphilis. The state comes in twentieth on the list of most residents suffering from chlamydia and 21st on the list of the most residents suffering from gonorrhea.
At Johns Hopkins Hospital, an STD/HIV Prevention Training Center integrates sexual health lessons into educational opportunities offered to medical professionals throughout the state. STI training courses are held for three to five daily sessions.
As of 2014, Maryland’s Wicomico County had rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia higher than any other county in the state. This resulted in the county health department encouraging residents to own up to engaging in sexual activity that was putting them at risk for STDs. The health department put together a task force that included county school employees, as well as hospitals, clinics and universities. One reason for this was the high rate of STD diagnoses among high school students, college students and those in their 20s.
When the task force was organized it was done with the intention of determining exactly why the county had such a high rate of STD diagnoses. One factor that was discussed as a contributor to the problem was the total number of students attending two nearby universities and a community college. This means that the number of young people living in the county is not typical for the state. The location of Wicomico County is another factor, as it is in a central area that puts it close to Delaware and Virginia as well.
Due to the high number of young people living in the state, many clinics are available where residents can get tested for STDs such as HIV and Herpes.
Though the majority of residents are white, there are 8.2 times more African American males living with HIV than whites. There are also 15.7 times as many African American women living with HIV than whites.
While the majority of men living in the state that are HIV positive contracted it through sexual intercourse with another man the majority of HIV positive women contracted the disease by injecting drugs into themselves.
Because HIV and AIDS is such a significant problem throughout the state, residents have many options for seeking treatment. This includes various county STD/HIV testing programs open to those living in the specific county. STD tests are administered for free and those who need a test can get counseling before and afterwards.
Many STD testing centers are open Monday through Friday and most test for syphilis, chlamydia, HIV and gonorrhea. Walk in cases are taken and scheduling an appointment is not required. Some of the testing centers offer appointments to those who have been diagnosed with an STD. The appointment includes a thorough examination by a qualified doctor.
STD clinics always take their job seriously and handle testing in a sensitive and respectful manner. Hospitals and University health centers throughout the state provide young people with a safe place to get tested for any STD they may have been exposed to. The goal is to make STD testing accessible and easy to obtain by those who are the highest risk of contracting diseases.
The population of Maryland despite its small size has raised cause for concern towards the battle against STDs. With such high rates of diagnoses in the state, health officials have had no choice but to take the issue seriously. Maryland’s many hospitals, health centers and clinics have joined forces to provide free or discount testing to those who are in need. Through efforts by many communities throughout the state, residents are being encouraged to practice safe sex and avoid putting themselves in dangerous sexual situations.
Thanks to state law, STD patients can receive counseling and education that will help them cope with their diagnoses. Those needing support for an STD can get it by contacting organizations that are designed to help them cope with their diagnoses.