Health officials are struggling to deal with the large number of residents that test positive for a sexually transmitted disease each year. According to statistics released by the CDC and Los Angeles County health department the area has one of the highest rates of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis in the state and nation. While there are several factors that are being blamed for the high number of STI cases reported each year, the fact remains that the city is facing a potential health crisis.
The statistics are particularly surprising given the huge marketing campaign that tackled the dangers of HIV/AIDS. It seems that while the rates for this potentially deadly virus have fallen slightly, residents are still not taking care of the sexual health judging by the rising rates for the other commonly transmitted diseases. This means that not everyone is aware of how important regular STD testing is for their continued good health.
According to the recent statistics it is not just teens and young adults who are testing positive for at least one sexually transmitted disease, but older residents are also contracting STDs with alarming frequency. In fact older men account for over half of the primary and secondary Syphilis incidents. Gonorrhea rates are also up in men, particularly among those ages 18 to 24.
When it comes to Chlamydia women have the highest rate of infection, especially teens and young adults. African American and Hispanic residents tend to present the highest risk for contracting any of the STDs, though Syphilis incidents are rising in older Caucasian males. Some of the other statistics that highlight the importance of regular STD testing include,
- From 2006 to 2015 the number of primary and secondary Syphilis cases in men nearly doubled.
- Women between the ages of 20 to 24 are among those with the highest risk for contracting Chlamydia.
- African American males are almost twice as likely to contract Gonorrhea as other ethnicities.
In response to the rising STD rates across the state, California lawmakers have added new requirements to the sex education programs taught in the public school system. Not only are all public primary and secondary schools required to offer comprehensive and medically accurate sex education classes, previously “taboo” subjects are now freely discussed.
These changes include information on all forms of FDA approved methods of contraception, along with discussions on what it means to be sexually active. The main changes educators are scrambling to meet include leaving out any religious doctrine from the classes. Abstinence based material is also left out, though students are still encouraged to refrain from sexually activity at least until they are mature enough to handle the responsibility.
Some cities already provide students with this type of sexual education, and studies show that since these classes were implemented STD and teen pregnancy rates have fallen dramatically. Students will also learn about the importance of regular HIV testing in Palos Verdes, in hopes that the rate for this virus will continue to stay below national averages. The importance of regular Herpes testing in Palos Verdes is also covered in the new sex education classes, and local school officials are hopeful that this will help slow the spread of this disease.
While officials are hopeful that the newly implemented sex education classes will help lower the small city’s STD rates, the previous lack of a comprehensive program is not the only reason rates for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis are rising.
This small city sits on the beautiful peninsula, and while this does give residents stunning views of the Pacific Ocean it doesn’t leave the suburb a lot of room for STI clinics. The few that are in the metro area typically have long lines, and recent budget cuts have left these community health centers severely understaffed. With so much to see and do on the peninsula, the majority of residents choose to put off this important health procedure instead of spending the day waiting in line.
The recent budget cuts have also made it difficult for some residents to afford regular STD testing. Until recently Medicare covered STD testing, and now that residents have to pay out of pockets many are simply finding that it is too expensive to take care of their sexual health. This can be especially true for larger families.
The suburb is also part of the LA metro area, and its close proximity to the city is also affecting its STD rates. Many residents work and play in the city, and due to the previous lack of education most do not even realize that their behaviors could be putting their sexual health at risk.
Before you head out to one of the overlooks on the peninsula or enjoy a quiet day at Point Vicente Lighthouse it is important to take a few minutes and take care of your sexual health. It is understandable if you don’t want to spend the entire day waiting in line at a STD center, and now there is a faster and easier way for you to take care of your sexual health. With just one phone call you can schedule confidential STD testing and only spend a few minutes at a conveniently located lab. This way you will still have plenty of time to visit the Marine Land of the Pacific.