The Canyon County Health Department and CDC recently released statistics highlighting the growing STD problem in the Boise metro area, and this includes the city of Nampa. The recent statistics show that STDs are on the rise in the area, and have been for the past twenty years.
There were 21 cases of Syphilis reported in the county during the first 3 months of 2015, this was four times as many incidents as health officials had expected. This is a rate that is more than twice that of the state average. The majority of Syphilis incidents occurred in young Caucasian males, though this does not mean that everyone isn’t at risk.
It is not just early, primary and secondary Syphilis incidents that are increasing in frequency, but Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and HIV rates are also rising.
The Chlamydia rate for the county is higher than the average for the state, and it is even for Gonorrhea. Women are twice as likely to contract Chlamydia as men, and while Gonorrhea infections are rising in males it is increasing at a faster rate in females. Women ages 18 to 24 are at a higher risk for contracting any of the sexually transmitted diseases, and this statistics is also true for men.
Until everyone understands how important it is to be tested on a regular basis the number of STDs reported annually will continue to rise. Some of the other statistics that highlight this growing health problem include,
- In 2014 the Chlamydia rate for the county was reported at 365.7, compared to the state’s at 287.1.
- The county reported a Syphilis rate of 2.6 per 100,000 residents in 2014, compared to the state’s at 1.6.
- In the first 3 months of 2015 there were already 21 new cases of Syphilis documented in the county.
The state does not require its public schools to provide sex education, even though teen pregnancy and STD rates are rising. However, Nampa public schools do provide some information to their students, and most health officials agree that some is better than none.
Most of the public schools that do have sex education programs use material that is abstinence based. This dramatically limits the information students receive, and this can put their sexual health at risk. Some public schools do include information on the importance of always using protection during sexual activity, and in the districts where this is done there is a noticeable decrease in teen pregnancy and STD rates.
Overall, the state’s sex education program in the districts where it exists is woefully inadequate at providing teens with the information they need to make smart decisions when it comes to intercourse. Since studies show that over 60 percent of high school seniors have had sex at least once, knowing how to protect themselves is important if the city wants to lower its STD rates.
This means that everyone needs to understand how important regular HIV testing in Nampa is, and the simple procedure is the only way to positively identify the presence of the disease. Regular Herpes testing in Nampa is just as important, especially if residents want to stop the spread of the contagious virus.
The lack of comprehensive sex education programs in the public school districts is one of the main reasons the number of sexually transmitted diseases keeps rising in the city. Even though a few public schools do provide students with the information they need to protect their sexual health, until this is true across the city teens will continue to be at risk. While the Boise State University is trying to “pick up some of the slack” it is still not enough for this growing metro city.
Residents are also finding it difficult to locate a STI clinic near them. The suburb relies heavily on community health centers in the capitol city, and this means that most residents find themselves having to drive farther than they want. The few clinics that are in the metro area typically have long lines and crowded waiting rooms and most residents don’t want to spend the entire day at the health care facility.
Changes to Medicaid are also affecting the STD rates, especially regarding lower income residents. Now that federally sponsored insurance now longer covers STD testing some residents are finding it difficult to afford the fees. Until these and other issues are resolved the city will continue to have a high STD rate.
Before you decide to spend the day out on the lake it is important to take a few minutes to think about your sexual health. The number of STDs reported annual are rising, and this means that it is important for everyone to get tested. It is understandable if you don’t want to spend the entire day waiting in line at a crowded STD clinic, and now there is a faster and easier way for you to take care of your sexual health. Simply by making one quick phone call you can schedule confidential STD testing, and this way you only have to spend a few minutes at a neighborhood lab.