Fairfield County Health Department and the CDC recently released statistics that show the number of STD incidents reported are increasing in the city, and have been for the past twenty years. This is especially true regarding Chlamydia and Syphilis incidents.
The statistics also show that some ethnic groups are at a higher risk for contracting a STD. The Chlamydia and Gonorrhea rates are five times that of Caucasians. African Americans have a Chlamydia rate that is 17 times higher than that for Caucasians, and the Gonorrhea rate is 24 times higher. This surprises health officials since over 50 percent of the population in the area is Caucasian.
It is not just Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and infectious Syphilis rates that are rising, the number of HIV cases reported annual is also increasing. After dropping to 78 cases in 2012, which is the lowest it has been in the last two decades, there were 102 cases reported in 2014. This has health officials worried since this potentially deadly virus can be easily spread through various methods. African American and Hispanic males account for the majority of HIV incidents reported in the county each year.
Another worrisome trend, according to the recent statistics, is that up to 25 percent of those diagnosed with HIV also tested positive for Syphilis.
With the increase in the number of STDs reported each year steadily rising, it has never been so important for residents to get tested. Some of the other statistics that highlight the need for regular visits to a STI clinic include,
- In 2014 the Chlamydia rate for the county was 301 per 100,000 residents.
- African Americans and Hispanics ages 18 to 24 account for the majority of STD incidents reported each year.
- In 2011 statistics showed that 25 percent of men that were diagnosed with HIV, also tested positive for Syphilis.
With STD rates rising across the state it might surprise you to learn that public schools are not required to teach sex education. They do have to provide medically accurate and comprehensive information on HIV/AIDS, but it is up to the school’s discretion on where it will be taught. This means that it can be included in any class, as long as it is offered.
Since sex education is not a requirement there aren’t any guidelines or curriculums for public school districts to follow, except that it must be abstinence based. This means that if students receive any type of sex education it is often limited to being taught that abstaining from intercourse is the only effective way to prevent STDs and unplanned pregnancies. Studies conducted over the last thirty years have conclusively shown that this is not true, and that it can put students’ sexual health at risk.
Topics that include condoms and other types of contraceptives are allowed, but most schools do not cover this type of information. The same is true regarding regular STD testing, even though it has been conclusively proven that this is the best way to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Regular HIV testing in Norwalk is the best way to prevent the disease from spreading, and it could also save your life. Regular Herpes testing in Norwalk is just as important, and the simple procedure is an effective way to stop the virus from spreading through area high schools.
While the lack of comprehensive and medically accurate sex education classes in public schools is one of the main factors contributing to the city’s high STD rates, it is certainly not the only one. With over 90 percent of parents surveyed stating that they want comprehensive sex education classes offered in public schools, health officials are hopeful that this will soon not be one of the reasons why the number of STDs reported each year keeps rising.
The city is home to an estimated 8,000 college students and this is contributing to the area’s STD rates. It is not uncommon for their behavior to put their sexual health at risk, along with everyone that they come in contact with. This includes other students, as well as permanent residents.
Recent budget cuts to health care are making it difficult for many of the city’s lower income residents to afford regular STD testing, especially since the procedure is no longer covered under Medicaid. This lack of funding is also one of the reasons why African American and Hispanics residents are at a greater risk for contracting a STD, along with a shortage of community health centers.
Until these and other problems are resolved this bedroom community can expect to see its STD rates continue to rise.
Before heading out to the islands or taking a tour of the Stepping Stones Museum for Children it is important to take a few minutes to think about your sexual health. The number of STD incidents reported each year is rising, and it has never been so important for everyone to get tested on a regular basis. It is understandable if you don’t want to wait in the long lines at the community health facility and now you don’t have to. With one simple phone call you can schedule confidential STD resting and only spend a few minutes at a local lab.