It is becoming increasingly obvious that this bedroom community and surrounding Broward County have a serious health problem. Over the past twenty years STD rates have been steadily rising, and are now at the high point since the mid 1990’s.
Statistics recently released by the CDC show the all STD/STIs are on the rise, and in a short three year period these rates have surpassed the state averages. In 2014 it was estimated that out of every 100,000 residents at least 608 were positive for a STD.
The data shows that it is not just Gonorrhea and Chlamydia infections that are on the rise, primary and secondary Syphilis incidents are increasing as well. This is particularly alarming, since this disease can be fatal and does not always display immediate symptoms.
It is not just teens and young adults who are risk in Broward County, but older residents are also testing positive more often. Hispanic and African American females have a greater chance of contracting Chlamydia, while Gonorrhea rates are rising in males. Some of the other statistics that are showing the need for better STD awareness include,
- From 2012 to 2014 the incident rate for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis was 608.3 per 100,000 residents, compare to 507.1 reported during the three year period spanning 2007 thru 2009.
- The total STD rate for the state between 2012 -2014 was 531.53 compared to the 608.3 for the county.
- In 2008 the Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis rates surpassed the states and have continued to climb.
While the state is dealing with a high rate of sexually transmitted diseases and rising incident rates, Broward County and the small bedroom community of Miramar are taking its own proactive steps. Instead of hoping that teens and young adults will simply refrain from having sex, public officials and parents have decided to start education their children.
Realizing that abstinence only programs were ineffective and outdated, area officials have now made it mandatory for public schools to offer comprehensive and medically accurate sexual education programs. Accepting the fact that students really were having sex, these classes are aimed at keeping them safe.
Studies have shown that education is the best method of lowering STD rates and eventually stopping the spread of the infections. In states where sexual education programs are already mandatory, the results have been encouraging. STD rates across the board in these areas have fallen dramatically, along with the number of teen pregnancies. With these results backing them up, area officials are hopeful that they will soon start to see the same positive effects.
Regardless of how effective the sexual education classes are it is still important to take care of your health. Regular Herpes testing in Miramar can prevent flare-ups and stop the spread of the virus. Regular HIV testing in Miramar is also vital for your health, and the simple procedure is quick, painless and could save your life.
When you are looking at the STD rates for an area demographics will always play a key role, and this is certainly true in this small community.
Located next to Miami and the beaches at Fort Lauderdale the area has a large number of tourists who visit annually, and many are infected with a STD. The neighborhood’s close proximity to the city also makes it easier for residents to engage in risky behavior that includes the use of intravenous drugs. It is also becoming more common for teens and young adults to simply “forget” to use a condom, and this is also one of the reasons why the area has voted to make comprehensive sexual education classes mandatory in the public schools.
Language barriers in the Hispanic neighborhoods, along with strict conservative religious beliefs can make it difficult for health officials to convince everyone of the importance of regular testing. These strong religious beliefs can also make it difficult for teens to discuss their sexuality or STDs, and this is only increasing their risk of getting infected. This lack of guidance and education has lead health officials to hope that the new programs will be an effective tool at stopping the spread of STDs in the area.
One of the biggest contributing factors to the spread of STDs is the recent budgets cuts to area health centers. With the closing of many clinics in lower income neighborhoods, many residents are finding it almost impossible to take care of their sexual health. Until these and other problems are adequately addressed, this sunny beachside community will continue to be at risk.
Before you head to the clubs in Miami or schedule a day at the beach, it is important to take a few minutes and take care of your sexual health. Even with recent budget cuts there are still a few community clinics open for the public to take advantage of, but there is an easier and more convenient way to get tested. Now you can schedule confidential STD testing with one simple phone call and only spend 20 minutes or so at a nearby lab, this will still leave you with plenty of time to spend the day down at South Beach.