Statistics are showing that Overland Park and surrounding Johnson County are seeing a rise in the number of reported sexually transmitted infections each year, and that this alarming trend has been occurring for the past twenty years.
The area has some of the highest rates of infection in the state, and the statistics are showing that this is not likely to change. Young adults are in the highest risk group and their chances of contracting an STD increase dramatically in metropolitan areas, which is particularly worrisome for health officials considering Overland Park is the second largest city in the state.
The recent released statistics also show that women are more likely to contract Chlamydia or Gonorrhea than men, but males are at a higher risk of testing positive for HIV or Syphilis.
It is not just teens and young adults who are at risk, but older citizens are also testing positive more often. With sexual activity increasing among residents of all ages, it has never been so important to get tested for STDs on a regular basis.
Some of the statistics that has health officials and city leaders concerned include,
- Between 2011 and 2012 Johnson County and the surrounding area accounted for 72 percent of the STDs reported in the state.
- Even with its “below average” population rate, the area still has a moderately high risk for Syphilis.
- In the first half of 2015 the rate of Chlamydia infections was reported at 248, with a significant rise from September to October.
Even though statistics has shown that one of the best methods of preventing the spread of STDs is through education, the city still uses the federally funded abstinence only program in its classrooms. The state does allow cities to implement its own education programs, but most school officials and parents prefer to concentrate on abstinence instead of teaching students about the risks and dangers associated with being sexually active.
The abstinence only program does help to reduce the number of teen pregnancies, but it does nothing to stop the spread of sexually transmitted infections. The importance of always practicing safe sexual practices is not covered, though most schools do discuss many of the myths surrounding HIV/AIDS.
The majority of teens and their parents do not realize how important it is to get tested regularly, along with the fact that it is possible to contract a STD without being sexually active. Not all sexually transmitted infections are spread solely through penetration during intercourse, and some are often only detected through regular testing. Some STDs do no display any noticeable symptoms, making it easy to unknowingly spread the infection.
This is one of the reasons why regular Herpes testing in Overland Park is important, and the simple procedure could help stop the spread of this viral infection. Regular HIV testing in Overland Park is also critical for your continued good health, and it could help save your life.
Demographics play an important role in the STD rate for an area, and this includes ethnicity, along with age, gender, and income. Religious and cultural beliefs will also affect the infection rate for an area, and this is true in Overland Park and surrounding Johnson County.
While the population is mainly Caucasian, it is the Hispanics and African American residents who are at a higher risk of contracting an STD. Part of this is due to cultural and religious beliefs that frown on sexual activity before marriage, and from a lack of affordable health care in their communities.
These are also the same residents who often live in the city’s lower income neighborhoods were it can be difficult to find community health centers, and many of these families cannot afford regular testing. Adding to the problem is the lack of sexual education programs in the classroom, which often results in many parents not even realizing how important it is to get tested for all of the sexually transmitted diseases on a regular basis.
College students are also finding themselves at an increased risk, especially when they become sexually active. The lack of available information can cause many students to believe that as long as they wear a condom they are not at risk. Since some STDs can be spread through casual contact, practicing safe sex still won’t protect against all of the transmittable diseases.
Until everyone in the city and surrounding county understand how important it is to get tested regular, health officials can expect to see the STD rates continue to rise.
It is important to take a few minutes to take care of your sexual health, before you head off to play some holes at the championship golf course. There are community centers that residents can take advantage of, but the long lines and fear of running into a familiar face has many people searching for a better option. Now you can schedule confidential STD testing with one quick and easy phone call and only spend 20 minutes or so at a local lab, which still gives you plenty of time to enjoy lunch and the beautiful scenery at the Convention Center.