This tiny neighborhood located in the small city of Cleveland might think that it is safe from STDs, but recent statistics released by the CDC and Oklahoma Department of Health indicate that this is not the case.
Since 1999 the number of cases of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea has been on the rise, and this is a problem in a city with a population well under 4,000. Not only are the percentages for these two viruses climbing, but HIV and Syphilis rates are rising also.
Due to the city’s unique demographics, Caucasians and Native Americans are among those most affected by STDs. Young women and men ages 18 to 24 are more likely to test positive than older residents, though in the last ten years statistics show that this is starting to change. Over the past several years health officials have noticed that the number of Syphilis cases seems to be increasing, especially in older men. The same is also true for HIV/AIDS rates, with 8 cases reported in 2014.
Some community leaders have noted that the city’s STD rate is well below state averages, by as much as 91 percent for its percentage of residents infected with Gonorrhea. On the surface this might look promising, but once again it should be noted that with a population of less than 4,000 the rate still equals an estimated 200 residents with this sexually transmitted disease. Some of the other statistics that should encourage residents to be tested for all of the STDs include,
- In 2014 there were 8 people living with HIV in the county, compared to 10 by May of 2016.
- The surrounding rural county reported an HIV prevalence rate of 73 for the first 5 months of 2016.
- In 1999 there was only 1 case of HV in Pawnee County.
The public school district in this small city is already dealing with a few challenges, excluding its lack of a comprehensive sex education program. Even though there are only a few public schools, it is also important to remember that the small population equals limited tax revenue going to fund education. In order to keep the schools operating much of the funding is coming from the state and federal government.
While the additional revenue is vital for educators’ salaries and necessary maintenance on the aging buildings, it also comes with stipulations regarding the information taught in health classes.
Abstinence is encouraged, and students are taught that it can protect them from sexually transmitted diseases. While it is true that abstaining from sexual activity will lower your risk of contracting a venereal disease, it is not 100 percent effective. The high rate of teen pregnancies in the area also shows that many students are becoming sexually active, and that promoting abstinence until marriage is no longer effective.
Without comprehensive sexual education classes most students do not realize that regular Herpes testing in North Cleveland can help prevent the spread of the virus. Regular HIV testing in North Cleveland is also vital for your health, especially since the number of residents infected with the disease is rising.
This neighborhood might have a small population, but it is diverse. The majority of residents are Caucasian, followed by Native Americans. This is the main reason that the STD percentages differ from national averages, but it also does not mean that other ethnicities are not equally at risk.
The lack of comprehensive sex education programs remains the biggest reason for the increasing STD rates, especially among teens. As social media continues to promote sexual activity, even teens in this rural community are no longer willing to abstain from intercourse until marriage.
A limited number of health care facilities is making it difficult for many residents to be tested, and most do not want to run into a friend or family member at the few places that are open. The community centers are also only open for brief periods of time, and this is contributing to the problem.
Over the past twenty years older residents are testing positive for Syphilis, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, and much of this is due to increased illegal drug use. As more adults are treated for opioid addictions, health officials are also noticing that the number of STIs reported are increasing.
North Cleveland also has a high rate of unemployment, which is making it impossible for these residents to afford regular health care that includes STD testing. As long as these and the city’s other problems remain, residents can expect to also see an increase in STD percentages.
Residents who want to take care of their sexual health are finding that it can be difficult in this rural community. Not only are the very few places to go, most do not look forward to standing in line with people that they know. Now you can avoid your family and neighbors and still take care of your health, simply by making one quick and easy phone call. You can schedule confidential STD testing at your convenience, and only spend a few minutes at a local lab. Not only will the procedure take a short time, you also don’t have to worry about anyone finding out.