The number of sexually transmitted diseases is rising across the state, and this includes Orange City and surrounding Volusia County. For the past twenty years the rate of infection has been steadily increasing, and this trend seems to be continuing at an even faster rate than before.
While there have been slight deceases over the years in Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and even Syphilis rates, statistics released by the CDC show that now the number of reported incidents is only increasing. This has lead to renewed efforts to improve the sexual education programs in schools, but no change to the current curriculum is currently scheduled.
Some county officials point to the fact that Chlamydia rates in men and women have remained basically unchanged for the past five years, but health experts state these numbers are still too high for residents safety. Gonorrhea rates in men are rising at an alarming rate, along with their chances of contracting primary or secondary Syphilis.
The resurgence of Syphilis in older adults has health officials particularly concerned. Many had thought that this STD was under control, and that it no longer posed a threat to the community. With the number of African American, Hispanic and Caucasian males who test positive for Syphilis continuing to rise, health officials can’t stress enough how important it is for residents to get tested for all STDs regularly.
Some of the statistics released by the CDC that are causing alarm include,
- Between 2005 and 2014 Syphilis incidents in men have almost doubled.
- Over 34 percent of the Chlamydia diagnoses in men occurred in those between the ages of 20 to 24.
- Women ages 20 to 24 are twice as likely to test positive for Chlamydia in 2014 as females in the 25 to 29 age bracket.
Since the program’s introduction over twenty years ago the state and county have relied on teaching students the importance of abstaining from having intercourse as an effective means of preventing STDs. While abstinence is really the best method of preventing pregnancy, it cannot stop the spread of all STDs.
Not all sexually transmitted diseases are spread through intercourse, and even using protection is not an absolute method of protection. Some viruses can be easily spread through casual contract, which is one of the reasons Herpes is so prevalent in many high schools. Not all STDs display immediate signs or symptoms, so students cannot even rely on this as an effective way of staying safe.
Without the information they need to protect themselves from STDs, teens and young adults will continue to be in the highest risk groups. Regular Herpes testing in Orange City can help protect students and teachers at school, and the simple procedure only takes a few minutes of their time. Regular HIV testing in Orange City is also vital for your continued good health, and it is also the only reliable method of checking for this potentially deadly disease.
Even though this city might be small it still is home to a diverse population that is affecting the STD rates in the area. There is a large Hispanic population which is making it difficult for health professionals to stress the importance of regular STD testing, due to language barriers and a deep rooted mistrust of government officials.
Many of the African American residents simply believe that a STD will never happen to them, and a large number of men are too ashamed to admit that there might be a problem with their sexual health. Many of these residents are also unable to afford the cost of regular STD testing, and choose to ignore any health concerns until the signs and symptoms are severe. This makes it easy for them to pass the sexually transmitted diseases on to their partners and loved ones.
Another contributing factor is the presence of manatees at the warm water springs and the millions of tourists it brings to the area every year. While Orange City is depended economically on the state park, it can also cause STD rates to rise significantly. Not every visitor is tested regularly and many do not even know if they have a STD, this puts residents and everyone else they come in contact with at risk for developing a sexually transmitted disease.
Recent budget cuts to the community and county health programs is making it difficult for residents to find a place to be tested, and the long lines at the clinics still open are causing many people to put off this important checkup.
Before you decide to watch the manatees play on the river it is important to take a few minutes and take responsibility for your sexual health. The simple procedure only takes a few minutes and it could potentially save your life. If you don’t want to spend the day at one of the neighborhood clinics, you can avoid the long wait and schedule confidential STD testing. This way you only have to spend 20 minutes or so at a nearby lab, and still have the day to spend enjoying the Florida sun.