With the waters of Puget Sound nearby and thousands of acres of forests, the “Emerald City” is a nature lovers paradise, but Seattle, Washington is also dealing with an increase in Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, C, Herpes, Syphilis and HIV cases and not enough STD clinics to adequately treat all of the residents. While Seattle, WA does have a few free STD testing centers the long lines have many people looking for another option. Now you can make one easy phone call and schedule private STD testing and only spend 15 to 20 minutes at the local lab, which still gives you plenty of time to catch the sunset over the Space Needle.
Despite implementing new programs that include automatically providing treatment for partners of those infected with a sexually transmitted disease, Seattle is still dealing with an increase in the number of new cases.
Recent statistics show that while the STD rate in Seattle might not be increasing as rapidly as many other U.S. cities, the number of residents who test positive for a sexually transmitted disease continues to rise. In 2006 there were 5319 cases of Chlamydia reported in Seattle and surrounding King County, with a slight increase to 6939 diagnoses in 2013. While these statistics might seem to indicate that the number of new cases of STDs is slowing down, there is still a problem that won’t be fully resolved until everyone is tested regularly.
Some of these statistics includes the sobering fact that over half of those diagnosed with Chlamydia were women in their early 20’s, and the majority were African Americans. Other statistics released include;
- Early latent Syphilis has increased dramatically from less than 50 cases in 1992 to 149 in 2013.
- From 1997 to 2013 the number of men with Syphilis and who also test positive for HIV has risen from 40 to 51 percent.
- While Gonorrhea rates were decreasing between 1992 and 2004, statistics show that the number of infection has been steadily increasing.
What is really worry Seattle and King County health officials are the statistics that show a steady decrease in the number of women and some men who regularly visit a clinic. Unfortunately this also means that few residents are being tested for a STD on a regular basis.
Seattle is working hard to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and recent statistics show that the education programs are starting to work. The city’s school system realizes that teens are becoming sexually active at a younger age, and recognizes the need to teach students how to protect themselves against the various sexually transmitted diseases.
The city’s schools are restricted by parental approval which results in some students never receiving the information they need to stay safe during sexual activity, which continues to contribute to Seattle’s STD rates. The city is starting to respond to this problem by offering free treatment to the partner of anyone who tests positive for an STD.
While this does not mean regular HIV testing in Seattle isn’t vital for good sexual health, it does seem to be slowing the spread of other common STDs. It should also be noted that while it is possible to treat Chlamydia and Gonorrhea without a visit to the local clinic, other STDs must be treated by a health care professional.
The innovative program that treats the partners of those infected is also not effective at treating the Herpes virus. The virus often does not initially display any symptoms making it important to get regular Herpes testing in Seattle.
Seattle has a diverse population and its unique demographics do play a role in the city’s STD rates. While the city does have sexual education programs in the schools and neighborhood clinics, it is still hard for health officials to reach everyone.
The surrounding mountains and forests can make it difficult for everyone to get tested regularly, and many residents are simply are not aware of the risks associated with a sexually transmitted disease.
Age is also a factor, along with religious and personal beliefs. Some of Seattle’s free spirited residents simply do not believe in seeking outside medical attention until it becomes an absolute necessity, which includes being tested regularly for any sexually transmitted diseases. The older generations often do not realize that they are still at risk, and with more senior citizens staying sexually active longer their chances of contracting is dramatically raised.
Many young adults still believe that it could never happen to them, and Seattle’s own free treatment program is also contributing to the city’s STD rate. Now that the partner of someone who has tested positive for a sexually transmitted disease can be treated without visiting a health care professional, many residents are wondering if it is really necessary for them to get tested regularly as long as their partner is.
This is what some health care officials believe is partially responsible for the slight increase in some men testing positive for Syphilis and HIV. Until everyone in Seattle is tested regularly for a sexually transmitted disease the city will continue to have a high rate of STDs.
Known as the “Emerald City” for its evergreen forests, Seattle is a beautiful place to live that is also experiencing an increase in its rate of STD infections. Regular testing is important for good sexual health, but the long lines and risk of running into a friend or family member has many residents searching for a different option. Now you can schedule confidential STD testing with one simple phone call and avoid the hassles associated with the busy clinics. You can spend a few minutes in a local lab and still make it downtown in time to see the sun set from the top of the Space Needle.