Pompano Beach and Broward County residents can no longer ignore the high STD rates in their community. The Florida Department of Health routinely releases statistics for the state’s 67 counties, and when the data is compared over the last twenty there is a definite spike in the number of sexually diseases reported each year.
The area currently has one of the highest rates for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infections, according to 2015 statistics. The number of students that test positive for Herpes is also on the rise, and this virus is also starting to show up in older residents. Hepatitis B and C diagnoses are slowing down, and much of this is being attributed improved treatments and increased public awareness. The same was also true for HIV/AIDS, but in recent years the state health department has noted a sudden increase in positive diagnoses.
While rising HIV/AIDS rates are alarming and a good indicator that residents are still not doing enough to take care of their sexual health, it is the increase in primary and secondary Syphilis diagnoses that really has county and city officials taking notice. Twenty years ago this sexually transmitted disease was thought to be almost eradicated in the U.S., but the recent statistics show that this is not the case.
Some of the statistics that residents should be aware of to help them understand how important it is to be tested regularly include,
- The rate for positive Hepatitis C diagnoses rose 26 percent from 2014 to 2015.
- Broward County ranked 1st in the state for its high number of Gonorrhea incidents and second for Chlamydia in 2015.
- Infection Syphilis cases did drop 7 percent from 2014 to 2015, but there were still 90 incidents reported in 2015.
In 2013 Broward County decided to implement its own sexual education program in its public schools, after the state released statistics indicating the area had one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDs in the nation. While the primary cause for the dramatic shift in school officials’ feelings toward sex education classes was the high HIV rates, the increasing number of teen pregnancies also played a role in this controversial decision.
Educators finally realized that promoting abstinence was not effective an effective approach, and with more teens testing positive for a sexually transmitted disease each year officials know that something needed to be done. The new classes have meet resistance, from teachers and parents. While all public schools in the county are required to offer the program, parents can choose to “opt” their child out and discuss the necessary information at home.
In the past couple of years since the county and Pompano Beach have introduced the new program to the classroom the number of some sexually transmitted diseases among teens has been decreasing. Part of this is due to more students understand the importance of regular Herpes testing in Pompano Beach, and the rate of infection is starting to decline. Unfortunately not enough students and residents are taking advantage of regular HIV testing in Pompano Beach which is why it still has one of the highest incident rates in the nation.
With its miles of sandy beaches, warm weather almost year round, and clear water it is not hard to see why the area draws in thousands of tourists every year. While this is good for the city’s economy, it can put residents’ health in danger. Many of the visitors to the area do not get tested regularly for a STD, and it is not uncommon for them not to realize that they be already be infected. Since not all of the STDs are transmitted solely through sex, residents can easily find themselves at risk.
Along with the high number of tourists, many residents simply do not understand the risk sexually transmitted diseases can have to their health. Until recently it was difficult for residents to find any information on STDs, and most were simply taught that they only way to protect themselves was to abstain from having sex. With teen pregnancy rates reaching all-time highs in 2012, it became obvious that this approach was not working.
While students and residents can now easily get the information they need to start protecting their sexual health, it is still difficult for many of them to be tested. Cuts to health care programs have left many residents unable to pay for testing, and this also forced many neighborhood clinics to close leaving people with no place to go.
Even though almost anyone would rather spend the day on the beach than in a cramped clinic waiting room, getting tested regularly for STDs is the best way to take care of your sexual health. If you are concerned about possible STDs but don’t want to spend a long day waiting in one of the city’s clinics, there is another option you can take advantage of. Simply by making one simple phone call you can schedule confidential STD testing which only requires you to spend a few minutes at a nearby lab.