Statistics recently released by the CDC and Broward County Health Department show that the number of STDs reported each year is currently rising. The recent data also indicates that these percentages have been increasing for the past twenty years.
In 2015 it was reported that the county had the second highest HIV rate in the state, and that the number of new cases reported that year had increased by 23 percent over 2014. Statistics also indicate that primary and secondary Syphilis diagnoses are up, and this is especially worrisome to health officials who thought that this disease was under control.
It is not just Syphilis and HIV/AIDS rates that are increasing, but Chlamydia and Gonorrhea incidents are also rising at an alarming rate. From 1996 to 2015 the infection rate for these sexually transmitted diseases more than doubled. This is true for women and men.
The statistics also show that it is not just teens and young adults that are at risk, but adults ages 24 to 28 at also testing positive for a STD more often. This is especially true among African American and Hispanic males who account for the majority of Gonorrhea, Syphilis and HIV incidents. When it comes to Chlamydia and contagious HPV women present the highest risk, and this also includes genital Herpes.
Some of the statistics that highlight the rising STD rate and the need for regular testing include,
- In 2015 the county reported 403 new HIV cases compared to 328 incidents during 2014.
- The county ranked second in the nation in 2015 for its high HIV/AIDS rate.
- Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis rates in the county surpassed state average’s in 2009, and are still higher as of 2015 statistics.
Even as the number of STDs reported each year keeps increasing local officials are still reluctant to make any changes to the information currently being provided in the public schools’ sex education classes.
One reason for this reluctance to change is a state law that requires all public schools to promote abstinence, along with the benefits of being in a monogamous, heterosexual marriage. Not only does this mean that the information being taught to students is biased and not always medically accurate, it also does meet the needs of today’s teenagers and young adults.
Adding to the problem is the fact that public schools are not required by law to teach sex education to its students, and this means that many teens are graduating without understanding the risks and responsibilities that come with being sexually active. It is also not uncommon for teens and young adults to not even know how to use a condom or how important it can be for their continued good health.
Since the teen pregnancy rates are reaching an all-time high it is becoming obvious that students are engaging in sexual activity, often at a younger age than in previous years. This means that it is more important than ever for students to understand how important regular HIV testing in Plantation is for their sexual health. Since teens are having sex regardless of the push for abstinence, regular Herpes testing in Plantation is crucial if city leaders want to stop the spread of this highly contagious disease.
Local health officials can point to several reasons why the STD rates for the city and county are above state averages, with the main one being the lack of sex education programs in the public school system. If teens and young adults do not even realize that their behavior may be putting their sexual health at risk their chances for contracting a STD are significantly higher than those who understand the need for protection and regular testing.
This metro city is also home to a large number of retirees, and thanks to advances in health care they are living longer and staying sexually active. Many of the area’s senior citizens do not understand the importance of using protection, even at their advanced age. This is thought to be one of the reasons why Gonorrhea, Syphilis and HIV rates are rising in older adult males. While steps are being taken to educate the area’s seniors, regular STD testing is also needed if local officials want to start to lower the city’s sexually transmittable disease rates.
Budget cuts to state health care programs and Medicaid is making it difficult for some lower income residents to afford regular STD testing, and the lack of funding has also forced many community centers to close their doors. When residents cannot even find a place to be tested for STIs, it is easy to see why they are not taking care of their sexual health.
Before heading out for a game of golf or into the city for shopping it is important to take a few minutes to think about your sexual health. It is understandable if you want to avoid the long lines at the STI clinics, and now you can and still take care of your sexual health. You can easily schedule confidential STD testing with one simple phone call and only spend a few minutes at a conveniently located lab. This way you can get tested and still have plenty of time to play 18 holes on the city’s famous golf course.