Additional STD Test Statistics in Oak Lawn, IL
With your city bordering Chicago, it is helpful for us to look at statistics in Chicago and Cook County concerning STIs.
Chicago officials report that they are making real progress in the fight against STIs, AIDs, and HIV. This is according to the Chicago Department of Public Health. The number of new HIV infection diagnoses have declined steadily for the past decade. The department is attempting to help reduce the impact of HIV, AIDS, and STIs across Chicago with a focus on prevention. Here are some statistics.
- New HIV diagnoses continue to decline in Chicago year-over-year.
- In 2013, there were 1,091 new diagnoses, 41% below the peak of 1,857 recorded in 2001.
- Between 2009 and 2013, there was a 73% absolute decline in HIV transmission rates among intravenous drug users.
- Eight of ten adults newly diagnosed with HIV were linked to HIV medical care within the first three months of their diagnosis with early care increasing the chances of a healthier, fuller life.
- Among newly diagnosed individuals in care, 80% of those prescribed antiretroviral therapy have already achieved the ultimate goal, viral suppression, decreasing their chances of transmitting the disease to others.
- Chicago is better than the rest of the nation estimating that over half (54%) received HIV medical care in 2011, that is compared to only 40% nationally.
- African Americans and men who have sex with men continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV, AIDS, and STIs.
STD Testing and Sexual Education in Oak Lawn, IL
To get an idea of local thoughts are in your city on sexual education and the state of sexual education in the city, we can look at at the Oak Park Our Whole Lives program offering sexual education.
Two women are working in your city to offer a local take on a national extracurricular sex education option. These two working moms developed the Oak Park Our Whole Lives program, which offers comprehensive sexuality education.
The Whole Lives programming, developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ, has been available through Unity Temple and First United Church of Oak Park, but Nina Brewer-Davis and Nara Nayar are two mothers who wanted a secular option. One of the moms said their effort began after she looked into signing her children up for the program at one of the churches, but couldn’t do so without enrolling them in religious education there as well.
Nayar thinks other parents feel the way she does about seeking more quality education on sexuality and gender, bodies and health, consent and responsibility, and more. As more children have access to social media and smartphones, the founders wanted their children to be prepared. Three classes are included: one for kindergartners and first-graders, one for fourth- and fifth-graders, and one for seventh- and eighth-graders.
The curriculum at the different levels goes beyond typical sexual education and aims to prepare children for healthy relationships.
At the youngest level, some of the topics covered include the body, families, and babies. Upper elementary children learn about puberty, gender identity, sexual orientation, reproduction, and communication, among other things. And middle schoolers delve into healthy relationships, sexually explicit media, body image, and sexual decision-making, along with other basics like sex, pregnancy, and parenting.
Trained facilitators go through extensive background checks to lead the classes, with a high teacher-to-student ratio. What makes the program unique is not only the early age classes, but how it addresses sexuality. Because it’s an optional program, this program can talk about things that maybe the public schools wouldn’t want to cover.
The classes for fourth- and fifth-graders are full and the founders of the program are convinced demand will continue.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Demographics in Oak Lawn, IL
Demographics play a role in the number of STDs in your city, plus Chicago and Cook County. We can look at this role by seeing who is most affected by STDs.
- Adolescents and young adults are disproportionately affected by STDs compared to older adults
- Ages 13 to 24 and Blacks are the most commonly diagnosed with chlamydia and gonorrhea
- Males and females are diagnosed nearly equally with gonorrhea
- More females at 69.8 percent are diagnosed with chlamydia
- Blacks, males, males having sex with males, and those over the age of 30 are the largest proportion of primary and secondary syphilis
Concerning HIV, we can look at people living with HIV, new annual HIV diagnoses, and new annual AIDS diagnoses.
- Males at 84 percent were diagnosed with new HIV infections
- Males having sex with males were diagnosed at 75 percent with new HIV infections
- Ages 20-29 at 39 percent were diagnosed with new HIV infections
- Males at 79 percent were those living with HIV infection and the highest morbidity
- Over age 30 at 88 percent were those with HIV and the highest morbidity
- Males at 82 percent were the new annual AIDs diagnoses Males at 69 percent who were having sex with males were the new annual AIDS diagnoses
- Non Hispanic Blacks are affected by HIV more than any other race and represent over 50 percent of the prevalent cases of new infection diagnoses and new AIDs diagnoses.
With STD rates high in Chicago, the higher rates tend to be near your city on the South and West sides, according to a report from the Chicago Department of Public Health. With your city being a southern suburb, this is a concern. The pattern is similar for gonorrhea and chlamydia on the South and West sides, but the rates for syphilis are greatest on the North side.
High poverty and poor access to health care and transportation are factors contributing to higher rates of infections. Fortunately, in your city, statistics do not show high poverty and issues with access to transportation and health care.
STI Testing Resources in Oak Lawn, IL
Fortunately, there are several STI testing options near your location and the surrounding area including community testing facilities, a hospital, and the Planned Parenthood/Orland Park location.
If you are embarrassed or ashamed to be seen in line at Planned Parenthood or another clinic offering STD testing only, you have other options in your area. This includes an urgent care center or hospital such as Palos Community Hospital where no one knows you are there due to issues over STDs.
The Orland Park/Planned Parenthood facility could be an ideal place for you to go for information. Testing is for both males and females. Covered is testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, and other STDs. The staff is trained to work with someone in your situation and the staff is compassionate and caring, trying to protect your privacy and confidentiality. HIV testing is done with a blood sample from a finger stick. If you are 19 to 26 with no health insurance, you could get help for an HPV vaccine (Gardisil) at no charge. Medicaid is accepted.
You could also go to a walk in facility such as STD-Testing in your area where you start the process by talking on the phone with a counsellor. You then get a call or text about what time to come to the lab near you. After you get your tests, you get a text or email about when to expect results. You talk by phone about results and treatments. A chat service is also available. This group covers testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, hepatitis, and other STDs and conditions.
The Brothers Health Collective offers STD testing including HIV and hepatitis C. English, Haitian Creole, and Spanish are spoken there. Walk ins are welcome. Populations serviced include adolescents, youth, teens, African Americans/Blacks, at risk persons, gay men, the general public, Hispanics/Latinos, LGBT, low income persons, men, men who have sex with men, persons practicing high risk behaviors, and women. This group is a peer led organization formed in 2006 by volunteers to fill gaps in service in prevention and care for testing and counseling for Black men and intimate partners in Cook County and surrounding areas and counties.
Another option is a service such as Personal Labs/Quest where you can order tests. This can be for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, hepatitis B, and HIV. You go online to order the tests. You then go to a lab near you. You get results of the test via telephone. You also talk via telephone with a doctor about treatment options. One of the over 30 STD tests you can order is the comprehensive STD blood test that covers HIV, hepatitis, syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Keeping information private comes with the policy of keeping your personal information in a safe database, guaranteeing confidentiality through the ordering and testing process
Better Sexual Health in Oak Lawn, IL
Whether you go to the Orland Park /Planned Parenthood, a counsellor or nurse at an area high school, an online service, or a clinic or hospital such as Palos Community Hospital, you can find in your area information about STDs, testing, and treatment. You could also learn about how to get tested if you go to a counsellor at the Mokena/Tinley Park campus of The Rasmussen College Centro de Aprendizaje (Learning Center), a community education hub with a bilingual staff.
While STD rates are high in the Chicago and Cook County areas, help is available in your city in the way of testing and treatment that is confidential, discreet, compassionate, and effective, with many facilities having a bilingual staff.
Consider how the staff at these facilities is trained to help someone like you, especially with the staff at Planned Parenthood/Orland Park or any other facility reminding you to check your health, improve it, and keep yourself healthy by always using a condom.
Here are links to resources mentioned above.