With a population less than 100,000, according to the 2010 U.S. census, it is surprising to learn that the “Bridge City” has an ongoing problem with sexually transmitted diseases. According to data released by the CDC and San Bernardino Health Department the number of STDs has been increasing at an alarming rate for the past twenty years. While the statistics for the small city are included with the county’s, the number of sexually transmitted infections is still higher than some of the state averages.
Chlamydia rates have been above the state’s since 2005, and even though they are starting to show signs of declining they are still higher. Gonorrhea rates for the state and country have been steadily climbing since 2011, and are expected to reach all-time highs unless residents begin to take steps to protect their sexual health.
Syphilis incidents in men are also rising, and if left untreated this disease can result in eventual death. The number of primary and secondary Syphilis cases reported in the last 4 years has increased significantly in men and women.
Some of the other statistics residents in the “Bridge City” should be aware of in order to stay healthy sexually include.
- African American men and women are more than twice as likely to contract any of the STDs as other ethnicities, according to 2014 statistics.
- Women 20 to 24 years old have double the risk of contracting Chlamydia compared to other age groups.
- Gonorrhea rates in men and women have almost doubled between 2010 and 2014.
In response to the increasing number of residents of all ages and ethnicities that test positive for a STD each year, the state has made it mandatory for all public school districts to include sexual education programs in its primary and secondary curriculums. Signed into law and implemented during the 2015-2016 school year, some districts are already reporting a decrease in teen pregnancy and that STD rates are falling among teens.
The county and city have taken this one step further and implemented its own program geared towards freshmen high school students. The Positive Prevention PLUS program is designed to reach students from lower socio-economic groups, along with those with a lower performance academically. It and the state mandated program include information that is current and relevant to teens and young adults today.
While abstinence is still encouraged, these programs also address the various methods students can protect themselves. The classes also discuss how STDs are spread, along with the importance of regular testing. Once teens realized that not all STDs are transmitted solely through sex and that many do not display any immediate signs or symptoms, it is easier for them to understand why it is so important to be tested at least twice a year.
This includes regular Herpes testing in Rialto, and since students have begun to take this seriously the rate of infection has started to drop. Regular HIV testing in Rialto is just as crucial, and the simple procedure could help save your life and that of those around you.
There are several reasons why this small city has such a high STD rate, considering its relatively low population. It’s relatively remote location has made it an ideal place for several corporations to base their distribution centers, but this has also made it more difficult for residents to find a place to be tested.
Its small population means that few state tax dollars are set aside for the area’s public health care system, which has resulted in a lack of STD testing centers. The few that are within the city limits are typically understaffed, and are often only open for a limited number of hours during the week. When this is combined with the long lines it can be difficult for residents to find the time or even want to go be tested for a STD that many of them still believe they aren’t at risk for.
The recent addition of the new comprehensive and medically accurate sex education programs is helping to teach teens about the necessity of regular testing, but these classes are not reaching older residents. This is one of the reasons health officials believe that STD rates are rising in men and women over the age of 21, and slowly starting to decrease in teens.
The rural city also has an unemployment rate of 7.1 percent, and this is also making it difficult for many residents to afford regular STD testing.
Even if you do not feel like you are at risk for a sexually transmitted infection, it is still important to be tested on a regular basis. It is understandable if you don’t want to waste the whole day standing in a long line, and now there is an easier way for you to take care of your sexual health. With one quick phone call you can schedule confidential STD testing and only spend a few minutes at a conveniently located lab. This way you can feel good knowing that you are taking proactive steps towards taking care of your sexual health, and still have plenty of time left to explore this small, but fascinating city.