It is hard to ignore the fact that STD rates are rising in the neighborhood and surrounding Sacramento County, especially when the recent statistics made headlines in area newspapers.
Over the last two decades the county and state have watched the STD rates climb at an alarming rate. While HIV/AIDs incidents have been decreasing, after reaching all-time highs in the 1980’s and 90’s, percentages for the other commonly transmitted sexual diseases are on the rise. This includes Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis.
Even though the county has always had a problem with Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, the recent increase in primary and secondary Syphilis incidents is new. What is even more surprising is that this sexually transmitted disease is occurring in men over the age of 24. While the majority of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Herpes cases occur in teens and young adults, the Syphilis virus seems to be affect older men more often. This only emphasis what health officials have been stressing about the importance of being tested regularly for STDs regardless of your age.
Overall young women still have the greatest risk for contracting Chlamydia, while Gonorrhea incidents occur more frequently in men. African Americans are twice as likely to contract a STD as other ethnicities, and this includes Syphilis and HIV/AIDS. Some of the other statistics that are making the news include,
- Between 2005 and 2014 the number of men that tested positive for Syphilis nearly tripled.
- The Gonorrhea rates for men and women in 2014 were almost twice that of the state’s.
- Chlamydia rates in men and women were twice as high as there reported by the state in 2014.
Beginning in January of 2016 the state made it mandatory for all public schools to include sexual education programs in the curriculum. This was done in answer to the growing number of teens and young adults that were testing positive for STDs.
Studies and research has shown that when teens have the information they need regarding sexually transmitted diseases and how the viruses are spread, they are less likely to put themselves at risk. While abstinence is still encouraged the new programs also discuss contraceptives, sexual preferences, and even how to handle violence in a relationship.
The main reason the sexual education bill was passed was due to the high STD rates. With more teens testing positive for at least one STD each year, law makers knew that something needed to be done. Now students are getting the education they need to protect themselves from all sexually transmitted diseases.
Not only are they learning how STDs are spread, but the classes are include information on why it is so important to be tested regularly. This includes regular Herpes testing in Mather, especially for students and teachers in the public schools were the virus can most often be found. Regular HIV testing in Mather is also discussed, along with how this is currently the only proven method of detecting the disease.
Mather is a small community which means is demographic makeup is not as diverse as some other cities. This has not helped to lower the area’s STD rates, even with its smaller population.
One reason that residents find themselves dealing with high STD percentages is that the area is becoming a transportation hub. The Sacramento Mather Airport is located nearby, and it is not uncommon for travelers to stop and spend the night in the city.
While this is good for the local economy, it can present a potential health risk. Many overnight visitors have never been tested for any of the sexually transmitted diseases, and some are already infected and don’t even realize it. Migrant workers also travel through the area and are contributing to the problem.
While the public schools do have sexual education classes and students are learning about how important it is for them to take care of their health, there is a shortage of places for them to go. Like many other cities, this community also lost much of its funding for health care. This means that there is a shortage of qualified personnel, along with facilities that can test and treat residents. The few clinics that are still in business are often short staffed, and it is not uncommon for people to be turned away due to long lines. With no place to go many residents simply give up and stop worrying about their sexual health. If this continues the percentage of residents that contract a sexually transmitted infection will keep rising, even with the new education classes.
This small community is a great place to live and raise a family, but it is also experiencing problems with sexually transmitted diseases. This can be resolved, but only if residents begin to take care of their sexual health. If you don’t want to spend your entire day at one of the overcrowded clinics, you can schedule confidential STD testing and only spend a few minutes at a lab. It is a fast and easy way to take care of your sexual health and ensure that this neighborhood remains a great place to live.