Yearly reports summarize the number of sexually transmitted diseases which are reported during the period for the entire United States and its territories. Local physicians clinics, hospitals and STD testing centers forward information to the health department and the Center for Disease Control for inclusion in its national database. Only demographic information is shared to protect the privacy and confidentiality of all clients which are tested. The information is used to help in determining who is at the highest risk for becoming infected and which disease is the most likely. The type of data which is helpful includes age, gender, ethnicity, area of residence and income level. These are the factors which are the most influential of STD contraction.
The chart below shows the percentage of people who have been diagnosed with specific STDs based on testing per 100,000 in population in the region.
- Chlamydia- 384.1
- Gonorrhea- 88.7
- Syphilis- 6.9
This summary shows evidence of the current STD epidemic, but it is believed that these figures are just the tip of the iceberg. It is only inclusive of those who actually received testing. It is believed that if everyone in the high risk categories would get tested, the figures would change dramatically with a massive increase in percentage points. This is one of the reasons why there is an urgency to develop strategies for reaching more people in the high risk groups so they will be aware of their peril. The secondary impetus is geared towards increasing funding for low income clients who cannot otherwise afford the costs of testing and treatment for venereal disease.
Poverty is believed to be a factor in increased STD infection rates and the frequency of testing by these populations. A lack of financial resources often translates into a lack of exposure to education about sexual health. It also prevents the acquisition of quality health care because of an inability to pay the associated fees. People who are not aware of the dangers of unprotected sex are much more likely to become exposed to disease. They are also more inclined to ignore symptoms or not understand what they are to begin with. Lack of knowledge contributes to the rampant spread of any disease, and STDs are no exception.
According to recent trends, age, gender and ethnicity are also predicive factors. Over recent years it has been established that Chlamydia is highest in women who have double the rates as men do. Blacks have the highest frequency of infection followed by Whites, then Hispanics with regard to ethnicity. The most common age for any STD is 20 to 24. The data shows that in recent years there is an increasing trend for young people in the 15 to 19 age group to become infected with Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Men who engage in male to male sex have a higher frequency of dual diagnoses when it comes to STD infections. It is precisely this type of information that is useful in building educational campaigns aimed at containing the spread of these infectious diseases.
When people have understand the risk factors and the dangers of unprotected sex, there is an increased chance that they will take measures to avoid this unnecessary challenge. Getting the word out to more people is vital. Mandatory sexual health education courses are presented to students at the middle school age in order to reach them before they begin to explore their sexuality. Upon course completion, they will know how to prevent unwanted pregnancy and STD infection. In addition, they will know where they can go to get a Herpes test or HIV testing.
For anyone concerned about privacy, STD clinics offer confidential services. Those who face financial constraints may choose a free STD testing center which offers free or reduced rates which are based upon family size and income levels.
You may be wondering what your risk level for STD is. While we’ve listed the factors that contribute to the degree of risk, it is important to realize that anyone who has unprotected sex with a person whose monogamy cannot be verified is indeed at risk. Not all STDs present with symptoms in the early stages so it is possible to be infected and not know it for some time. The only way to know for certain is to get tested. Ordering testing is fast and easy. After placing your oder, it just takes a few moments of your time to visit a local lab to complete the testing process and get your results on their way. Friendly and courteous lab technicians and staff members are there to provide confidential and private testing and to answer your questions.