STDs are of serious concern to health officials in the city and county. However, some STDs are more common and prevalent in the area than others. For residents and visitors, the most common STD of concern is Chlamydia. In fact, statistically, there are more cases per capita of Chlamydia in the area than any other STDs. The exact number of Chlamydia cases annually equates to about 629.3 per 100,000 people.
Gonorrhea is also a significant issue in the area. The rates of gonorrhea are at about 178 per 100,000 people. While this rate is much lower than Chlamydia, it is still significant and is an issue to watch out for. No data is available on syphilis rates indicating that cases of early latent syphilis and primary or secondary cases of syphilis are so rare in this city that they are virtually unheard of.
HIV and AIDS are also rare and while no data is available specifically for this city, as of early 2015, only about 550 people were living with HIV in the state of South Dakota with 30 to 40 new cases annually. While these numbers are relatively low statewide, officials are concerned that a possible surge in cases could occur due to generational complacency.
- Chlamydia rate for the area is 629.3 per 100,000 people according to 2014 statistics.
- Early Latent Syphilis rates were reported at 0.4 per 100,000 people in 2014.
- Gonorrhea rates in 2014 were 178 per 100,000 people with the majority of cases occurring in men.
As previously mentioned, Chlamydia is by far and away the most commonly diagnosed STD in the area. However, what is interesting to see is how the city compares to the rest of the state. This metropolis has a much higher rate of Chlamydia cases than other cities in the state. The state average is only 476.2 cases per 100,000 people in contrast to Rapid City’s 639.3 per 100,000. Gonorrhea, too, is more prevalent than the rest of the state at 178 per 100,000 versus 85.8 cases per 100,000.
In South Dakota, there are no state laws that require public schools to teach sexual education in school. The exception to that rule is that the state does have a law that requires school to teach character development. Character development requires that schools teach sexual abstinence. Beyond the abstinence only education requirement, students in middle school and high school are also required to learn about HIV and AIDS, though the exact specifications of the lessons are not specified by state law.
In the city sexual education coursework is generally lumped into health or family and consumer science classes. However, resources and information are fully available from the school counseling departments as well as school nurse and health offices. STD testing clinics and doctor’s offices also provide plenty of free resources for young people and adults alike with the resources and information that they need.
Information about HIV testing is among the most readily available, both through school health programs due to the HIV/AIDS education requirements and community resources. HIV testing is quick and easy through a simple blood test at a STI clinic and sometimes results are available in mere minutes rather than in days or weeks. Herpes testing is also important but less well-known. This too is a blood test but needs to be requested specifically if a person is worried that they have been exposed.
Demographics can often have a major impact on STD rates in a given area. The demographics of the city may also be influential on the sexual health, and STD statistics previously mentioned. 84.5 percent of the population in the area is Caucasian while about 10.1 percent is American Indian. One trend that has been found in Pennington County is a rapid increase in cases of gonorrhea among Native Americans. In 2012, 82 percent of gonorrhea cases statewide were among American Indians and a large increase in cases among this demographic occurred in the area.
It is time to take control of your sexual health and make sure that you are healthy and stay healthy moving forward. In order to achieve that goal, you absolutely need to get yourself tested for STDs as soon as possible. While it can be easy to just brush the idea of STD testing to the side and think that you will do it another time, the longer you wait, the longer you may be living with an untreated STD.
So, be sure to take the time and call to get your Confidential STD Screening Test scheduled as soon as possible. This will make your appointment go much faster and easier. In addition to the standard screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea, be sure that you also request an HIV test. If you are concerned about possible herpes exposure, request that test as well. Remember that getting your STD testing answers can help you to get the treatment and/or the peace of mind you need.