While Palm Bay is in densely populated Brevard County it is located away from most of the tourist action, and this makes it difficult for city officials to come up with an explanation for the high number of STDs in the area. Statistics recently released by the CDC indicate that the number of sexually transmitted diseases in the area is on the rise, and has been for more than twenty years.
Since 1993 the rate of infection for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis has been on the rise, and statistics for 2016 already show that HIV diagnoses are also increasing in frequency. Statistics also indicate that everyone is at risk, not only teens and young adults. Older residents are testing positive for primary and secondary Syphilis more often, and this includes Caucasian and African Americans equally.
Women between the ages of 20 to 24 are among those with the highest risk for contracting Chlamydia, and females 15 to 19 years old also test positive for the disease more often than their male counterparts. Gonorrhea, Syphilis and HIV is more prevalent in men, and Herpes is a growing problem in area high schools. As the rate of infection continues to rise, health officials are stressing the importance of regular checkups. Until everyone understands the risk STDs present to their health these diseases will continue to be a problem in the community.
Some of the other statistics released regarding the STD rate in the city and county include,
- From 2012 to 2014 there were 6,705 cases of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis reported in the county.
- In the three year period 1993-1995 the rate for STDs in the county was reported at 263.50 per 100,000 residents, compared to a rate of 406.10 from 2012-2014.
- Out of 67 counties Brevard rank 11th for its high rate of STDs in 2014.
Even though the growing number of residents that test positive for a sexually transmitted infection continues to rise each year, state and local officials are still reluctant to introduce comprehensive sex education classes in the public school system. Unlike a few other states that recognize students need more information if they are going to prevent the transmission of STDs, Florida still stresses that abstinence is the best method of protection.
Adding to the problem is the fact that the state does not require schools to teach anything other than the basics regarding HIV/AIDS. While this is a step in the right direction it still does very little to teach teens how to protect themselves from all of the sexually transmitted diseases. Currently the state has one of the highest rates for HIV, and this is another indicator that this limited information is not enough to keep teens and other residents healthy and safe.
This is also one of the reasons why regular HIV testing in Palm Bay is so important. It is also important for teens and their families to have regular Herpes testing. This is one of the most common viruses in area high schools, and it can also be easily prevented with testing and a little knowledge.
Palm Bay is a quiet family oriented city that is also dealing with an abnormally high number of sexually transmitted diseases. While some areas can blame their high rates on tourists and travelers, this does not apply to this Oceanside city.
What many health experts believe is the main factor affecting STD rates is the growing popularity of online dating websites. There are also several “hook-up” apps that are contributing to the problem. These apps and websites are making it even easier for residents to “get together” and this often includes sexual activity.
While there is nothing wrong with consensual sex, there is a problem when protection isn’t used. Thanks to the lack of sexual education programs many teens and young adults, that often use these dating tools, do not understand the danger they are putting their health in when they don’t use some type of protection. This is also affecting older adults as more online dating sites are geared towards them.
It cannot be stressed enough how important regular STD testing is, especially when the state has one of the highest rates for HIV/AIDS infections in the country. Not understanding how sexually diseases are spread is causing many residents to feel like they are not at risk, and this is a problem that can be easily solved simply with education.
Even though spending the day on the beach is always preferable to a visit to a clinic, it is worth it when it concerns your sexual health. If you have been putting off this important checkup simply because you don’t want to wait in the long line, there is a faster and easier way. You can schedule confidential STD testing with one phone call and only spend a few minutes at a conveniently located lab. This way you will still get plenty of sun and feel good knowing that you took care of your sexual health.