Statistics recently released by the CDC and Orange County Health Department show that the STD rates are rising in the area, and have been for the last two decades. This includes the rates for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, along with those for infectious Syphilis and HIV/AIDS.
The statistics also show that teens are no longer among those with the highest risk, but adults ages 20 to 24 are actually testing positive more often. Men in particular are seeing the greatest increase in their STD rates, except for Chlamydia which affects more women. What is surprising to some health officials about the latest statistics is the fact the Hispanics and Caucasians are among those with the highest risk for contracting a STD.
Some local officials point out that the STD rates for the city and surrounding county are lower than state averages, but others are just as quick to mention that this will soon change if the number of incidents reported each year continues to rise. The fact that the percentage of older adults that test positive for a sexually transmitted disease is rising at such an alarming rate is proof enough to some of the importance of regular testing.
Here are some of the other statistics that highlight the growing problem with STDs in the city.
- In 2015 the Chlamydia rate for women was reported at 468.7 and 246.8 for males.
- After dropping dramatically in 2011 the number of Syphilis incidents reported in men has nearly tripled, according to 2015 statistics.
- Out of the 241 primary and secondary Syphilis cases reported in 2015 55 occurred in men over the age of 45.
State lawmakers recently passed a bill that now requires all public school districts to teach comprehensive and medically accurate sex education classes to students beginning in the 7th grade through high school. This is in response to the rapidly rising teen pregnancy and STD rates that are occurring across the state.
After the 2008 financial collapse the state cut all funding to its sex education programs, and the number of teen pregnancies and STDs reported each year quickly started to rise. With the passage of this new bill state and local health officials are hopeful that this will soon change.
Public schools are required to teach age appropriate information that is designed to give students the tools they need to protect themselves from all sexually transmitted diseases. While some parents and educators are against starting the classes as early as the 7th grade, studies have found that teens are becoming sexually active at an early age.
Along with including information on the basic changes the body goes through during puberty, the sex education program will also touch on subjects that include gender identity, relationship abuse, the proper use of contraceptives, and even the benefits of abstinence. Students will also learn how sexually transmitted diseases can be spread, along with how important regular HIV testing in Newport Beach is for their continued good health.
The importance of regular Herpes testing in Newport Beach will also be covered, and local health and public school officials are hopeful that this will help slow the spread of the contagious virus.
There are several factors that can be blamed for the bayside city’s high STD rates, though state officials are starting to take steps to help bring the percentages under control. The passage of a bill requiring all public school districts to provide comprehensive sex education classes is a positive first step, but it doesn’t address all of the factors that are causing the STI rates to rise.
The city’s scenic location on the bay draws in a large number of visitors each year, and many of them have never been tested for a sexually transmitted disease. Since many of the city’s residents still do not consider regular STI testing an important part of their health care routine this makes it easy for them to contract a sexually transmitted disease without even realizing it. This also improves their chances of passing the infection along to others.
Advances in health care are making it possible for seniors to continue to be sexually active longer, and this is contributing to the area’s high infection rates. Many older adults have never received any type of sex education, and don’t even realize that their behavior could be putting them at risk.
Unfortunately many residents still do not realize how important regular STD testing is for their continued good health, and until they do the infectious disease rates for the area will continue to rise.
Before hitting the waves at The Wedge or spending the day on Fashion Island it is important to take a few minutes to think about your sexual health. The number of STDs reported each year is rising, and this means that it is important to be tested on a regular basis. It is understandable if you don’t want to wait in the long lines at the community STI centers, and now there is a faster and easier way to take care of your sexual health. With one simple phone call you can schedule confidential STD testing and only spend a few minutes at a conveniently located lab. This way you will still have plenty of time to spend the day at the Balboa Fun Zone.