Each year the CDC and Alameda County release statistics showing the current STD trends, and for the last two decades the data has indicated that the number of cases reported annually is rising. This is especially true regarding Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis. In 2011 the statistics showed that the rates for these 3 sexually transmitted diseases were above state averages.
Statistics released for 2015 do show a slight improvement, Syphilis rates are now below state averages for women and men. Unfortunately health experts do not expect this trend to last, since the number of new cases reported is rising. This is especially true for men ages 25 to 29.
Women in the 20 to 24 age bracket are at a higher risk for contracting Chlamydia, followed closely by teens. The same trend is also true for the other commonly reported STDs in women. Men are at an increased risk for contracting Gonorrhea, especially those ages 18 to 24. As of 2015 the Gonorrhea rate for men in the county was above state averages.
After dropping significantly in 2008 thanks to aggressive advertising urging residents to get tested the HIV/AIDS rates are rising again in the county. When this is combined with the growing number of new Syphilis incidents reported in the last few years, health officials are worried that this indicates an alarming new trend.
With STD rates rising in the county and bayside city it has never been so important for residents to get tested. Here are a few statistics that highlight the growing problem in the area.
- In 2011 there were 74 new HIV cases reported, compared to 82 in 2012.
- Chlamydia and Gonorrhea rates in men are above state averages as of 2015.
- The Gonorrhea rates for women have been above state averages since 2006.
The “Healthy Youth Act” was signed into law in 2015 and it requires all public school districts in the state to provide sex education classes to students, starting in the 7th grade. The information taught in the program must be age appropriate, medically accurate and be relevant to the challenges students face today.
What the new law basically means for the state’s public schools is that they can no longer choose whether or not they are going to provide information on sex education for their students. If they want to be in compliance, and avoid potential penalties, the sex education program offered must follow the state’s new guidelines.
Abstinence and religious based programs are no longer allowed, and while this does have some conservative groups upset, statistics have shown that these classes are not effective. Areas where the information taught to teens is abstinence based typically have higher STD and teen pregnancy rates. The new law hopes to change these statistics and lower the risk to everyone’s sexual health.
Not only will students learn about the dangers of STDs, and all of the ways they can be spread, but the importance of always using protection will also be discussed if teens are going to be sexually active. The importance of regular Herpes testing in San Leandro will be covered, especially since studies have shown that it is the best way to prevent the disease from spreading through area high schools. The importance of regular HIV testing in San Leandro is another subject that will be discussed, and health officials are hopeful that this will help stop the disease from continuing to spread.
Now that public school districts are required to provide students with comprehensive and medically accurate information in their sex education programs one of the main contributing factors to the city’s high STD rates has finally been resolved. Even though state health officials warn that it will take a while for there to be any significant changes in the number of sexually transmitted diseases reported each year, it is a positive step in the right direction.
The city is still dealing with a shortage of community STI clinics, and this is making it difficult for residents to get tested. Most do or simply cannot spend the entire day waiting in line, and there is always a fear that they could potentially run into someone they know. There are still strong feelings of shame and embarrassment associated with being seen at a STD testing center.
Recent budget cuts to health care are also making it difficult for lower income residents to afford the simple procedure. This is especially true after Medicaid and other insurance carriers decided to stop covering STD testing. Even though positive steps are being taken, there is still a long way to go before STDs are eradicated from the city.
Before you head out to spend a day on the bay it is important to take a few minutes to think about your sexual health. The number of STDs reported each year is rising, and this means that everyone needs to get tested on a regular basis. If you have been putting off this procedure due to long clinic lines, there is a faster and easier way to take care of your sexual health. Now you can schedule confidential STD testing with one simple phone call and only spend a few minutes at a nearby lab. This way you can be responsible for your sexual health, and still have plenty of time left to enjoy your day.