In recent years the city has seen an increase in the number of sexually transmittable diseases reported each year, and statistics show that this trend has been occurring over the last two decades. For the past twenty years STD rates have been steadily increasing in residents of all ages, and until everyone understands how important it is for their health to get tested regularly these numbers are expected to continue to rise.
While some city officials point to the fact that STD rates for the area are below state and national averages, health professionals reply that with the growing number of new cases reported each year it won’t be long until Naperville and surrounding DuPage County have surpassed state percentages.
The statistics indicate that sexually transmitted diseases are not just affecting teens and young adults, but older residents are also testing positive more often. Primary and secondary Syphilis diagnoses are up in older men, and more African American males are testing positive for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea at an alarming rate.
Other statistics that show the need for residents to start taking their sexual health seriously include,
- In 2000 there were 731 Chlamydia cases diagnosed compared to 1,587 in 2008.
- Chlamydia affected 206 men in 2000, compared to 435 reported cases in 2008.
- Gonorrhea rates rose from 22.6 in 2000 to 28.9 per 100,000 residents in 2008.
- Syphilis rates were at 18 per 100,000 residents in 2008 compare to only 8 in 2000.
Even though research and statistics have shown that the most effective way to prevent the spread of STDs is through education, the majority of public schools in the district still refuse to implement anything other than classes dealing strictly with abstinence.
Citing numbers that indicate teen pregnancies are on the decline, thanks in part to promoting abstinence, many school district officials feel that this is more than enough to keep students and their families safe from all sexually transmitted diseases. Unfortunately with over 60 percent of high school seniors admitting upon graduation that they are sexually active shows that more needs to be done than educators simply telling teenagers to wait until marriage before engaging in intercourse.
Not only do abstinence only programs ignore the importance of informing teens about how STDs are spread, and the use of contraceptives, many also leave out information concerning HIV/AIDS. This lack of information is not only putting students at risk, but also other residents in the city. Many students and their parents do not realize that some STDs can be spread through means other than sexually intercourse, and others are not even aware that they are engaging in risky behaviors.
Regular Herpes testing in Naperville can help reduce and even stop the spread of this virus that is commonly found in area high schools, and the simple procedure only takes a few minutes. Regular HIV testing in Naperville is also important for everyone’s continued good health, regardless of sexual preferences.
There are several demographical factors that are causing STD rates to rise in the area, including the city’s close proximity to Chicago. It is not uncommon for residents to visit the “Windy City” for fun and entertainment, and to also put themselves at risk for contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
Recent economic down swings has made it difficult for some residents to afford regular testing, and recent budget shortages have also resulted in the closing of some community health centers. A lack of qualified health professionals, long lines at the few clinics still open to the public, and difficult finding a qualified testing center are all contributing to the area’s skyrocketing STD rates.
There is also a strong conservative base in the city that is making it difficult for teens and young adults to get the information they need to protect themselves successfully from STDs. Not only are many residents unaware of how sexually transmitted diseases are actually spread, many never even realize that they are at risk until it is too late. The lack of information is also leading to several misconceptions regarding the severity of some STDs, which includes HIV/Aids.
A population that is rapidly becoming more diverse is also contributing to the problem, along with an escalating problem with intravenous drug use. Sharing needles and engaging in other risky behaviors is one of the contributing factors to the reemergence of primary and secondary Syphilis, especially among older men.
Before heading to the manmade beach or exploring the city’s museums and art galleries it is important to take a few minutes and think about your sexual health. There are still community health facilities that residents can take advantage of, but the long lines and crowded waiting rooms has many people putting off this important checkup. Now you can avoid the hassles of busy health centers and schedule a confidential STD test with just one simple phone call and only spend 20 minutes or so at a nearby lab, which still gives you plenty of time to enjoy the rest of your day.