The city of Saint Petersburg, FL is filled with fun and excitement for its visitors and the locals who come to enjoy fun in the sun. There are ample opportunities for recreational adventures, fine dining, shopping and a host of other activities. Even though the local officials have a great deal of pride in their city, they are also aware of the growing problem with rising STD rates in the region. Cases of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Herpes, Hepatitis B and C and HIV and aids have been reported. The first step in coming to terms with these issues is to increase the amount of testing in high risk groups. Testing is easy to order and it can be completed with a fast 15 to 20 minute visit to a lab. STD clinics are available to provide private STD testing. Anyone who cannot afford to pay for testing can apply for assistance at free STD testing centers in Saint Petersburg, FL.
The rates of STD infection in Saint Petersburg are high enough to alert the officials that corrective action is needed. Information is gathered from hospitals, STD testing clinics and private physicians who provide these services. The data is forwarded to the Center for Disease Control for inclusion in the national data base where analysts review the statistics to help identify which people are at the highest risk for specific sexually transmitted diseases. No personally identifying information is shared in order to maintain strict standards for confidentiality for clients. Data including region, gender, age, ethnicity and sexual preference is shared only. The following information shows the number of reported cases of specific STDs for the area per 100,000 population.
- Chlamydia – 430.6
- Gonorrhea – 107.1 with a #21 national ranking
- Syphilis, all stages – 3.2
These figures represent the number of positive cases that have been reported per 100,000 people in the region. The actual numbers of infected persons are believed to be much higher by Health Department officials. There are many people in at risk groups who have not yet been tested. People who do not know that they are infected may inadvertently spread these diseases and unless persons at risk are tested, they may not know that they are ill until severe complications begin to set in.
There is a need for increased education to help raise awareness about STDs. The State of Florida has mandated the infusion of sexual health education into the curriculum of all public schools. This instruction is given just prior to the average age at which some adolescents may begin sexual experimentation. Facts about the dangers of unprotected sex including sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy are shared. Students in the public schools learn where to go for a Herpes test and where to get HIV testing in Saint Petersburg, FL.
Areas with higher poverty levels are at the greatest risk for sexually transmitted disease infection. This is because many people who are financially disadvantaged lack exposure to educational materials and may not be able to afford the costs of STD testing and quality healthcare for treatment upon diagnosis. Some may be infected and not even know it because there are some types of STD infections that show few or no symptoms in the beginning. More testing is needed in this segment of the population because health professionals believe that the rates among persons in this group would be much higher if they were tested.
Based upon what is known from an analysis of the current statistics and test results, Chlamydia is most widely found in women ages 20 to 24, followed by the 15 to 19 year age group. Women are twice as likely to become infected with Chlamydia as men. With regard to ethnicity, Blacks have the highest incidences with Whites, then Hispanics in this order. Men in the 20 to 24 year age group most commonly get Chlamydia.
Gonorrhea is the most common in men age 20 to 24, followed by the 25 to 29 age group. Black males have the highest number of positive test results followed by Whites, then Hispanics in this region.
HIV and AIDS diagnoses are the highest in male to male homosexual populations. There is also a high incidence of coinfections with Gonorrhea or Syphilis. Hepatitis B and C are growing concerns in the region as numbers are rising. As previously suggested, more testing is needed to arrive at a more precise number of STD cases. Local officials are taking action to attempt to reach a wider section of the population in this area. Information is shared through the Department of Health in conjunction with local health care providers to inform more people about the availability of testing. Free testing centers are available generally, but there are times when the funding sources become exhausted and people must wait for a renewal of the funding to get their testing done. This can lead to increased spread of STDs, suggesting that more funding for both education, testing and treatment is needed.
Having an STD can take a toll on your reproductive ability and your general health. In the early stages, it may be hard to tell if you’re infected, without testing. The only way to know for certain is to get the testing done. If you believe that you are at risk for an STD infection, your best option is to seek testing immediately. Anyone who has unprotected sex may become infected. Private STD testing is available for you and completion of the process is fast and easy. Just complete your STD testing order and make arrangements for a fast visit to a local testing lab. You’ll find friendly and professional technicians who are available to help you with testing and answer any questions that you may have. It doesn’t take long and you’ll quickly be on your way to enjoy the recreational activities in Saint Petersburg. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to protect your sexual health and your overall health.