STD testing is vital for the preservation of sexual health in this area. The statistics for the numbers of people being tested and the results of the screening for specific STDs are maintained and forwarded to local authorities and to the Center for Disease Control for inclusion in a national database. The results are analyzed to determine which groups are at the highest risk for certain types of STDs. Local hospitals, STD testing centers and private physicians all participate in reporting. No personally identifying information is submitted in order to protect client confidentiality. Demographic information including age, gender, ethnicity, location and type of STD tested for is the only data that is shared so your privacy is strictly protected.
The following information shows the number of positive testing results for selected sexually transmitted diseases in the region. The results are based upon positives per 100,000 in population.
- Chlamydia- 514.9
- Gonorrhea- 98.0
- Syphilis- 6.6
These figures are based upon the numbers of people who have actually been tested as positive. It is believed that if everyone in the highest risk groups would get tested, the numbers would be much higher.
Acknowledgement of the growing problem has led state officials to develop plans and strategies for more effectively addressing the problem of the spread of STDs. All public schools now provide mandatory sexual health education for students in attendance. The classes are offered just prior to the age at which some students begin sexual experimentation. The content includes facts about the consequences of unprotected sex including unwanted pregnancy. In addition, the signs of STD infection, pregnancy and ways to prevent these from occurring is included. Upon completion, students will know where they can go to get a Herpes test or HIV testing.
More interventions are needed because the rates of people age 15 to 19 are increasing for STD infection. Poverty is another indicator of risk. This is because people who have limited economic resources are less likely to receive the education about STD risks and may not have the means to seek quality health care for testing and treatment. Although free STD testing centers are available, there is no guarantee that all persons in need can receive services. When funding is depleted for the cycle, there may be a waiting period until the next funding money comes in for free and reduced fee service. Also, not everyone is aware that these clinics exist.
A factor that leads to the growing infection rates is that not all STDs present with symptoms in the early stages. It is possible for an individual to pass it on to multiple partners without their awareness. This compounds the problem of containment.
Persons who have multiple sexual partners are also at a significantly higher risk than those who are in monogamous relationships. Those who practice safe sex by using a condom significantly reduce their odds of contracting an STD, but this does not provide a 100 percent effective guarantee for safety.
Analysts and statisticians use the data collected from all reporting sources to pinpoint the groups who are at the highest risk for particular STD infections. This information is helpful in targeting specific groups in spreading the news about their risks and where to go for testing.
The current data shows that Chlamydia is one of the most widespread of the sexually transmitted infections with women testing positive nearly twice as often as men Those age 20 to 24 are at the highest risk, followed by the 15 to 19 age group, then those 25-29. Women of Black ethnicity have the highest numbers, followed by Hispanics, then Whites.
Men test positive for Gonorrhea more often than women do with slightly higher rates. Men age 20 to 24 have higher incidences followed by the 15 to 19 age groups, then those 25 to 29. The pattern is similar to that of women testing positive for Chlamydia which shows definite trends for each of these diseases. It is important, however to note that the trends may change from year to year.
Your sexual health is just one part of your overall and general health. STDs can cause serious problems with fertility and the ability to conceive and carry children successfully to term. These infections can also lead to poor general health, and in some cases, death if not properly treated.
You owe it to yourself and to everyone in your life who cares about you to get STD testing. Ordering is easy and completing the process is fast and easy. It only takes between 15 to 20 minutes of your time to stop by a local lab. Friendly and professional technicians are available to assist you in completing your testing. They can answer any questions that you may have. Shortly, you will have your private and confidential testing results and you will know for certain. If the results are positive, you will be able to start the necessary treatment to help preserve your health. If the results are negative, then you will have greater peace of mind.