Health officials have begun to notice an alarming trend in Peoria and surrounding Maricopa County. Over the last twenty years STD rates have been steadily increasing, and show no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Statistics show that not only are incident rates for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea higher in 2013 than reported in 2008, recent numbers show that on average STD percentages are still climbing. Between 2005 and 2014 the number of reported Chlamydia infections rose by an estimated 7,000.
While these numbers do indicate a growing problem, it is not what has health officials extremely concerned. Recent years has seen a steady rise in the number of reported primary and secondary Syphilis infections, and HIV/AIDS diagnoses also seems to be increasing.
It is not just teens and young adults who are increasing at risk, but older men are also testing positive for a STD more often. Statistics show that the majority of Syphilis infections occur in men between the ages of 40 and 45, regardless of sexual preference.
Young women are still in the highest risk group for Chlamydia, but statistics also indicate the men are contracting Gonorrhea more often. The data also shows that everyone is at risk, regardless of age, race or gender.
- In 2014 there were over 600 cases of primary and secondary Syphilis diagnosed, compared to slightly over 300 in 2005.
- Women between the ages of 20 and 29 were more than twice as likely to contract Chlamydia as men, according to 2014 statistics.
- 8 percent of the Gonorrhea infections reported in 2014 occurred in men, with the remaining 44.2 percent showing up in women ages 20 to 29.
Even though the city’s public schools do offer sex education classes, the information is limited and strongly suggests that abstinence is the best method of preventing pregnancy and STDs. While it is true that abstaining from sexual activity will prevent pregnancies, it will not protect students against all transmitted infections.
This lack of information is putting students and residents at risk, and it is also allowing certain stereotypes regarding some of these diseases to continue. Without knowing that the best way to prevent STDs from spreading is to practice safe sex and get tested regularly, the number of teens and young adults who contract a venereal disease will continue to climb.
The state is now considering making sexual education classes a standard part of the curriculum, but this is meeting resistance from several conservative groups. Afraid that educating teens will only encourage them to become sexually active, these groups are willing to rely on abstinence agreements to keep students safe.
Without realizing that some sexually transmitted diseases are spread through casual contract, no one will realize how important it is to schedule regular Herpes testing in Peoria. Regular HIV testing in Peoria is just as vital for continue good health, and to stop the spread of this potentially deadly disease.
The city and surrounding county have an interesting demographical makeup which is affecting the area’s STD rates.
Its diverse population can make it difficult for health officials to reach all residents, especially if there are language barriers involved. Hispanic and Native American residents often find it difficult to trust city and county officials, which is one of the reasons they are among the highest risk groups.
The southwestern community is also extremely conservative, which can make it difficult for there to be any open and honest discussions regarding sex and STDs. This can also cause some residents to feel ashamed, especially if they are seen at a clinic.
A shortage of health care facilities especially in lower income neighborhoods is also contributing to the problem, along with an inability to pay for regular STD screenings. The county also has a unique problem concerning the nearby state prison, where it is more common for inmates to test positive for a sexually transmitted disease than to show up negative.
The lack of sexual education information available is affecting almost all demographical factors, including the high STD rate in the nearby prison. Many inmates are released while carrying a sexually transmitted disease, which puts the public at a greater risk.
Without adequate testing and information on STDs and safe sexual practices available for all residents and inmates officials expect to see the number of infections continue to rise in the city and county.
Home to a large sports complex and beautiful Lake Pleasant Park there is plenty to do in and around Peoria. While the gorgeous weather and outdoor activities make it easy to forget about the rising STI rate, it is important to make some time to take care of your sexual health. There are clinics open to the public, but the long lines and fear of running into a familiar face has many residents hoping that there is a better way to stay healthy. Now you can skip the crowded clinics and schedule confidential STD testing with one simple phone call. This way you only spend 20 minutes or so at a local lab, and still have plenty of time to enjoy the wide variety of sports and activities offered in the area.