STD testing is necessary for containing the current epidemic and for protecting the sexual health of the residents. The statistics for the numbers of people being tested and the results of the screening for specific STDs are maintained and forwarded to local authorities and to the Center for Disease Control for inclusion in a national database. The results are analyzed by both local health department officials and CDC staff to determine which groups are at the highest risk for certain types of STDs.
Local hospitals, STD testing centers and private physicians all participate in reporting. No personally identifying information is submitted in order to protect client confidentiality. Demographic information including age, gender, ethnicity, location and type of STD tested for is the only data that is shared so your privacy is strictly protected.
The following information shows the number of positive testing results for selected sexually transmitted diseases in the region. The results are based upon positives per 100,000 in population.
- Chlamydia- 549.5
- Gonorrhea- 120.4
- Syphilis- 11.1
These numbers are based on the amount of people who have tested positive for STD infections. Although the figures are high when compared with other regions in the state, local health officials believe that if everyone in the highest risk groups would get tested, the numbers would be much higher.
Health department officials are aware that the problem of high STD rates is big. This is the main factor that has driven state officials to develop plans for addressing the issue. Public schools provide mandatory sexual health education courses for their students. The classes are offered just prior to the age at which some students begin sexual experimentation. The content includes facts about the consequences of unprotected sex including unwanted pregnancy. In addition, the signs of STD infection, pregnancy and ways to prevent these from occurring is included. Upon completion, students will know where they can go to get a Herpes test or HIV testing.
The most recent data shows that rates of people age 15 to 19 are increasing for STD infection. This makes it obvious that more interventions are required. Poverty is an indicator of risk for all age groups. This is because people who have limited economic resources are less likely to receive the education about STD risks and may not have the means to seek quality health care for testing and treatment. Although free STD testing centers are available, there is no guarantee that all persons in need can receive services. When funding is depleted for the cycle, there may be a waiting period until the next funding money comes in for free and reduced fee service. Also, not everyone is aware that these clinics exist.
A major factor that leads to the growing infection rates is that not all STDs present with symptoms in the early stages. It is possible for an individual to pass it on to multiple partners without their awareness. This compounds the problem of containment.
Perhaps the largest greatest risk factor is sexual behavior. Persons who have multiple sexual partners are also at a significantly higher risk than those who are in monogamous relationships. Those who practice safe sex by using a condom significantly reduce their odds of contracting an STD, but this does not provide a guarantee.
Analysts with the Center for Disease Control use the information that is shared from all reporting sources to identify the groups at the highest risk for particular STD infections. This information is helpful in targeting specific groups in spreading the news about their risks and where to go for testing.
Currently, the known statistics show that Chlamydia is one of the most widespread of the sexually transmitted infections with women testing positive nearly twice as often as men Those age 20 to 24 are at the highest risk, followed by the 15 to 19 age group, then those 25-29. Women of Black ethnicity have the highest numbers, followed by Hispanics, then Whites.
Men test positive for Gonorrhea more often than females do with slightly higher rates. Men between the ages of 20 to 24 have higher incidences followed by teh 15 to 19 age groups, then those 25 to 29. The pattern is similar to that of females testing positive for Chlamydia which shows definite trends for each of these diseases. It is important, however to note that the trends may change from year to year.
An STD can cause illness and potentially serious health problems if it is not diagnosed and treated. You owe it to yourself and to everyone in your life who cares about you to get STD testing. Ordering is easy and completing the process is fast and easy. It only takes between 15 to 20 minutes of your time to stop by a local lab. Friendly and professional technicians are available to assist you in completing your testing.
They can answer any questions that you may have. Shortly, you will have your private and confidential testing results and you will know for certain. If the results are positive, you can start the necessary treatment. If they are negative, you will have peace of mind.