Known for its majestic desert scenery and home to the Champlin Fighter Museum the southwestern city of Mesa, Arizona is also experiencing a steady increase in the number of reported cases of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, C, Syphilis, Herpes and HIV and a shortage of free STD testing centers. While there are a few STD clinics in Mesa, AZ, the long lines have many residents putting off this important step in taking care of their sexual health. Now you can schedule private STD testing with one simple phone call and only spend 15 to 20 minutes at a local lab, which still gives you plenty of time to catch all of the sales at the fabulous Superstition Springs Center.
Recent statistics for Mesa and surrounding Maricopa County show that health officials have every reason to be worried. Statistics show that STD rates are rising at an alarming rate and show no signs of slowing down in the near future. While some city leaders point out that these numbers include all residents in the county, there is still sufficient evidence to support worried health officials’ claims that the southwestern city is currently experiencing a rise in the number of sexually transmitted diseases reported each year.
It is not only Chlamydia and Gonorrhea incidents that are increasing, but primary and secondary Syphilis diagnoses are also on the rise. Men in their thirties and forties are testing positive for both stages of Syphilis more often, and the number of males being treated for Gonorrhea has dramatically increased. In 2014 more men ages 20 to 29 tested positive for Gonorrhea than women, which has caused many health officials to take a closer look at these statistics.
Some of the reported figures that show Mesa’s continuing struggle with a high STD rate include,
- In 2014 men were responsible for 55.8 percent of the cases of Gonorrhea reported, with women at 44.2 percent.
- Between 2005 and 2014 Chlamydia incidents rose from 12,155 to 19,889.
- In 2005 117 cases of early Syphilis were diagnosed in heterosexual males, compared to 158 in 2014.
- There were 7,841 cases of Chlamydia reported in women age 20 to 29 in 2014.
Unfortunately these numbers are expected to rise until residents understand the importance of regular STD testing.
With STD rates rising in Mesa and Maricopa County, some residents are questioning whether the current sex education program is doing enough to inform students about the dangers of being sexually active. The program currently teaches that abstinence is the only way for students to prevent unwanted pregnancies and STDs, but the rising statistics seem to show that this approach may not be working.
Teen pregnancies are on the rise among high school students, along with the number of reported cases of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Herpes is also affecting a larger number of students, and health officials only expect these statistics to continue to rise.
The current curriculum only discusses the benefits of abstinence and does not include information on lifestyle choices or the importance of using condoms. Condoms and other protective measures are also left out, and students are not informed about the importance of regular STD testing.
Without this important information many students and parents do not realize that some STDs can be transmitted without engaging in sexual activity, and not all infectious diseases immediately display recognizable symptoms. Without this information being included in the classes, the city can expect to see more teens and young adults testing positive.
Regular Herpes testing in Mesa can help prevent the spread of this easily transmitted disease, especially among teens and young adults. HIV testing in Mesa is also important for continued good health, and this simple procedure can help save your life.
Demographics play a large role in the STD rate in any city, and this is certainly true in Mesa and Maricopa County. The southwestern city has a diverse population with strong religious ties and conservative values which emphasize abstinence and frown on any discussions concerning sexual activity before marriage.
The large Hispanic and Native American population also have a mistrust of government officials, which makes it difficult for city leaders to stress the importance of visiting a clinic for regular health checkups. There is also a language barrier that can be difficult to bridge, especially in some of the lower income Hispanic neighborhoods.
Lower income residents often find it difficult to afford regular STD testing, and the shortage of community health centers in these neighborhoods is only adding to the problem.
It is not only income and differences in cultural and religious beliefs that are contributing to the high STD rate, but also the large number of inmates who are testing positive for a sexually transmitted disease. This has led some health advocacy groups to begin to implement sexual education programs in the county jails, but without adequate funding from the county or state the number of inmates with a STD will continue to rise and put the community at risk as they are released back into the public.
The importance of regular STD testing cannot be stressed enough, and this simple test can help protect your sexual health. In between a fun outing to Golfland Sunsplash and a trip to the Arts Center it is also important to visit one of Mesa’s STD clinics and be checked for a sexually transmitted disease. While the long lines and fear of running into a familiar face may have some residents putting off this important health step, you can avoid the annoying wait and schedule confidential STD testing with one quick and easy phone call. This allows you to only spend 20 minutes at a local lab and avoid the potential embarrassment of seeing someone you know, and you will still have plenty of time to catch a glorious desert sunset.