Recently state lawmakers passed a bill that now requires all public school systems to provide students grades 7 through 12 with medically accurate and relevant information concerning sexual activity and STDs. By the time students graduate from high school the goal of the new bill is to ensure that they know the risks of STDs and how to protect themselves if they do decide to become sexually active.
Even though not all parents and educators approve of the new requirements for schools’ sex education programs, everyone agrees that something needs to be done about the area’s high STD rates. With teen pregnancy rates also reaching all-time highs, many of the new policy’s supporters are hopeful that when students learn the importance and benefits of using contraceptives these percentages will also start to drop.
Along with learning how important it is to always use protection during sexual activity, students will also discuss all of the ways STDs can be spread. This alone can be critical in helping to slow down the spread of these diseases. Regular Herpes testing in Santa Barbara will also be covered, and school administrators are hopeful that this will help slow the spread of the virus. Students will also learn how important regular HIV testing in Santa Barbara is, even if they are not sexually active.
Health officials believe that one of the main contributing factors to the rapidly rising STD rates is technology. Dating websites and apps have made it even easier for teens and adults to meet someone for the sole purpose of engaging in sexual activity, and this type of risky behavior is putting their health at risk.
Very seldom is any thought given to the possibility that their partner might already have a STD, especially if they are only planning on being together for one evening. The new sex education curriculum currently being implemented in the public school districts is addressing this issue, but until everyone realizes that their behavior is putting their sexual health at risk it will continue to be a problem.
The area is also bringing in a lot of new residents and visitors looking to spend time in the nearby mountains and enjoy the city’s beaches. While this added revenue is good for the city’s economy, it is also contributing to the rising STD rates. Many of the annual tourists have never been tested for a sexually transmitted disease, and this means that they might have contracted one without even realizing it. The same is often true for new residents moving into the city.
Like the rest of the state the city’s community health centers were affected by the budget cuts, and this has resulted in a shortage of STI testing facilities. Lower income families are also finding it more difficult to afford regular testing since it is no longer covered by Medicaid. Until these problems are resolved residents can expect to see the city’s STD rates continue to rise.
It is important that you remember your sexual health before you head off for a day at the beach or historic Stearns Wharf. You don’t have to go to a free HIV clinic if privacy is a concern. You can also skip mobile testing. There are affordable STI clinics in Santa Barabara, and you can get anonymous same day results.