There is a joint effort by local hospitals, private physicians and STD testing centers to gather as much information about STD rates in the region. The data is forwarded to local health departments and the Center for Disease Control for inclusion in a national database. No personally identifying information is shared. Age, area of residence, gender and the type of STD testing with results is the only information that is shared. Client confidentiality is strictly maintained. The data is used to determine which groups of people are at the highest risk for contracting STDs so strategic plans may be made for education and testing services. Analysts and statisticians compile the data and present annual reports with this information. The following chart shows the percentage of people who have been diagnosed with certain STDs in the area per 100,000 in population.
- Chlamydia- 336.0
- Gonorrhea- 74.6
The numbers are alarmingly high and it is believed by health department officials that this may be just the tip of the iceberg. If everyone who is at risk for STD infection would get tested, the number of positive testing results would soar beyond these figures.
The trends in STD infection rates are showing that the numbers of people between the ages of 15 to 19 is increasing. State and federal authorities have worked togeher to launch a strategy to reach youth with mandatory sexual health education courses in the public school curriculum. It is delivered to students just prior to the age at which some may begin sexual experimentation. They learn about the consequences of unprotected sex including unwanted pregnancy and STD infection. Students who complete these courses will know where to go for a Herpes test or for HIV testing. They are also taught how to recognize some of the symptoms of certain STD infections.
Statistics show that people who are living at or below the poverty level tend to be in a higher risk category. It is believed that the reason for this is a lack of sexual health education and limited financial resources to obtain quality medical care for testing and treatment. People who have not had experience with STD infection may not fully understand the risk that they are taking by having unprotected sex. Not all STDs present symptoms in the early stages so it is possible for a person to be infected, spread the disease and not even be aware of what is going on.
Chlamydia rates are twice as high in women as they are in men. Women age 20 o 24 have the highest rates. With regard to ethnicity, Blacks are diagnosed most often followed by Whites, then Hispanics. This is one of the most common types of STD that has been reported in the last few decades. Gonorrhea is slightly higher in male populations with those age 20 to 24 having the highest rates, followed by those age 25 to 29, then age 15 to 19. Blacks have the highest number of incidences with Whites next and Hispanics the third highest.
Syphilis numbers are also on the rise in male to male sex populations. There is also a trend towards these me showing dual diagnoses with Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infections simultaneously. Men have higher rates than women do. According to age, men between 20 to 24 have the highest rates followed by age 40 to 44 with the ethnicity pattern following the same trends as for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.
Health department officials understand that more needs to be done to enlighten the public, and in particular, the groups who are at the highest risks with sexual health information. Just spreading the word is not enough. More treatment centers with funding for low income persons is also needed. Although there are several Free STD testing centers which offer free or reduced testing rates, each of them is dependent upon funding that may become depleted before the end of the funding cycle. This means that people who are in dire need of STD testing may need to wait until there is new funding available.
Sexually transmitted diseases can cause severe health problems including issues with fertility, risk to unborn children and a degeneration of your overall general health. Who is at risk for an STD? Anyone who has had unprotected sex with a partner whose monogamy cannot be verified. There may not be any symptoms in the early stages. This means that the only way to know for certain is to get STD testing.
Ordering STD testing is fast and it is easy. It only takes a few moments of your time to visit a local lab to complete the STD testing process. Friendly and professional staff are there to provide you with private and confidential STD testing. They can answer any questions that you may have about testing, treatment referrals and when you can expect to receive your testing results. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones too find out. Don’t delay if you are at any risk at all. You’ll be glad that you did and you’ll have added peace of mind for a fuller enjoyment of life.