With STD rates rising across the state, the recent statistics from the CDC should not be surprising to residents of Peoria. What might be surprising to some residents is the fact that health officials have been discussing these high incidents rates since 2010.
The statistics for the last twenty years show that the number of sexually transmitted infections has been rising steadily in the city, and the data indicates that these rates are not expected to decrease anytime soon. Chlamydia infections are up in young women, while Gonorrhea rates continue to increase in men. HIV/AIDS diagnoses are also up as well.
What is really alarming to state and local officials is the growing number of older men who test positive for primary and secondary Syphilis. Thought to be well under control since the mid 1980’s, this potentially deadly disease has been making a strong comeback in recent years. Not only are older adults testing positive more often for Syphilis, but the number of them who have contracted two STDs simultaneously has also increased.
This means that it is even easier now for residents to spread STDs among themselves than in previous years. Some of the statistics that residents should be aware of include,
- In 2010 there were 135 incidents of Hepatitis B among adults and teens.
- 2011 saw 20 new cases of HIV in the county for a rate of 10.3 per 100,000 residents.
- As of 2015 the city and county ranked 3rd in the state for the number of teens who test positive for Gonorrhea.
In response to the rising STD rates and number of teen pregnancies one school district in the city has had enough, and is taking its own proactive steps to protect students’ health. Gonorrhea rates have reached all time highs and more teenagers are pregnant before graduation. With statistics like these it is obvious that the abstinence based programs are not working.
Taking a cue from recent studies that show that the most effective method of slowing these rates is to educate students, the school district is implementing its own programs. Not only will students be taught about the benefits of abstaining from sex before marriage, they will also learn how to protect themselves from all of the STDs.
Medically accurate information regarding how these diseases can be spread without engaging in sexual intercourse will be covered, along with the importance of regular testing. It is only through these regular checkups that many of the STDs are able to be diagnosed, and this is important if you want to slow down the spread of the diseases.
Not all STDs are spread solely through sexual activity some can be passed through various other methods. With the addition of this new material in the school district officials are hopeful that they will soon start to see some positive results.
It is still important to have regular Herpes testing in Peoria, especially if you want to eradicate the virus from area high schools. Regular HIV testing in Peoria is always vital for your continued good health, and the simple procedure is still the only proven method that can accurately detect the disease.
Several years ago city leaders tried to learn what residents know about STDs and what they thought was responsible for the high disease rates. These simple questions designed to help officials better address this health problem also shows them what some of the causes were.
The main contributing factor to the high rate of sexually transmitted diseases in this riverside city is the simple lack of education. The majority of residents do not know that STDs can be spread in ways other than engaging in sexual activity, and a frightening number of those surveyed thought that HIV/AIDS was a curable disease.
It is misinformation like this that is putting residents at risk, without them even realizing it. Even when they believe that they are not engaging in risky behavior, simply not understanding that everyone needs to be tested on a regular basis is increasing their chances of contracting a STD.
Other demographical factors include recent economic problems in the community, which not only affected residents income but also the number of health centers that could afford to stay open. Many lower income families simply cannot afford regular testing, and others cannot find a nearby clinic to visit. The ones that are still open often have to wait in long lines that can force many residents to wait to be tested until a later time.
Before you make plans to spend the day along the river or take in a baseball game, it is also important to make time to take care of your sexual health. Only you can take responsibility for your health, and it is important to be tested for all the STDs on a regular basis. If you are like many other residents and want to avoid the long lines at the community health centers you can schedule confidential STD testing with one simple phone call. This way you only need to spend 20 minutes or so at a local lab, instead of all day at a nearby clinic.