While the city is generally known for its Civil War battlefields, this is changing due to recently released statistics. Over the past twenty years the small southern city has been seeing a steady increase in the number of sexually transmitted diseases each year, and health officials warn that this trend is likely to continue.
Statistics released by the CDC indicate the all STDs are on the rise, and this includes HIV and Syphilis. In 2003 there were 3 confirmed cases of Syphilis, and statistics show that the number of residents who test positive continues to rise each year.
STDs are not only affecting teens and young adults, but older residents are testing positive more often. In some cases it is not uncommon for some people to test positive for more than one sexually transmitted disease at a time. This has lead to an increased fear in health officials that the STD rate for the city and surrounding Rutherford County is only going to get worse.
Women continue to be at a higher risk for Chlamydia than men, but the opposite is true regarding Gonorrhea and Syphilis. Herpes is rising at an alarming rate in the public schools, and even HIV/AIDS rates are slowly climbing each year. Some of the other statistics that health officials want residents to be aware of include,
- The Chlamydia rate for Rutherford County is 473.7 per 100,000 residents.
- It is estimated that 90.4 out of 100,000 residents are positive for Gonorrhea.
- 6 out of 100,000 residents have tested positive for HIV.
Even though studies have conclusively shown that the best way to stop the spread of STDs is through comprehensive sexual education classes, city and state officials still refuse to offer these programs to area students.
Relying on the outdated information included in certain approved abstinence based programs, officials are hopeful that these classes will discourage teens and young adults from engaging in sexual activities. Even though abstinence is one of the best ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies, it does little to stop the spread of STDs.
Without the information offered in comprehensive sexual education classes teens and young adults will not know how to protect themselves. Not all STDs are spread through the penetration that occurs during intercourse, some can be passed simply by casual contact. Relying on outdated information can also give students a false sense of security and many feel that as long as they are careful they will never contract a sexually transmitted disease.
As long as misinformation is passed throughout the area schools, the city can expect to see its STD rates continue to rise. This is one of the reasons that regular Herpes testing in Murfreesboro is so important. The virus can be easily passed without engaging in sexual activity, which is why it is so prevalent in high schools.
Regular HIV testing in Murfreesboro is also vital for your continued good health. This potentially deadly virus does not always display immediate signs and symptoms, and this important test is also the only way to determine if you are infected.
There are several demographical factors that are contributing to the high STD rates in the city that include a lack of available information and too few testing facilities. Since local officials are adamantly opposed to introducing current information about the spread of STDs in the classrooms students and residents often do not know that they are at risk, let alone how to adequately protect themselves.
Recent budget cuts to community clinics has made it difficult for many residents to find a place to be tested, and when they do the long lines often has them turning away in frustration. The budget cuts are also affecting lower income families who simply cannot afford regular STD testing. Many of these families also live on the outskirts of the city limits where there are not any testing facilities located nearby.
The area also has staunch conservative beliefs that frown on any sexual activity before marriage. These values have already made it almost impossible for health officials to implement current sexual education classes in the schools, and it is also making it difficult for people to get tested. Teens and young adults often feel like they have no one to talk to about any problems they may be facing with their sexual health, and older residents often feel too embarrassed to be seen standing in line at a community health center.
While these may be valid fears and concerns, it does little to improve the STD rates in the city.
Before heading off to explore a nearby Civil War battlefield or you make plans to catch a football game, it is important to take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to be tested for all of the sexually transmitted diseases. If you want to avoid the long lines at the neighborhood clinic and still want to take care of your sexual health, you can schedule confidential STD testing with one simple phone call. This way you only need to spend a few minutes at a local lab, and you can still make it to the football game on time.