CDC statistics show Shreveport and surrounding Caddo Parish have higher than average percentage of sexually transmitted infections.
Data shows that the city and parish rank among the highest in the state. While the growing number of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea incidents was expected, health officials were surprised by Syphilis rates. Twenty years ago health officials believed it was under control, and now it is quickly becoming commonly diagnosed in young adults and older males.
In 2012 Caddo Parish ranked second in the state for Gonorrhea infections and third for its Chlamydia rates. 95 positive test results were reported for HIV in the same year, and the rates have only risen in the following years.
- Caddo Parish saw 1,025 incidents of Gonorrhea during 2012.
- The rate of Syphilis infections in the city and county was estimated at 40 cases per 100,000 residents.
- Of the 1,395 HIV diagnoses in the state, 95 were reported in Caddo Parish.
The city still uses the federally funded abstinence only curriculum in its public schools, and while it is being updated it still does not cover the importance of regular testing. Abstinence will prevent pregnancy and it has been effective at lowering the teen birth rate, but with STDs still on the rise among teens and adults the program is not slowing them down.
The lack of information means that students and many of their parents do not understand the importance of regular STD testing, or the means by which these diseases can be passed. Not all infections are spread solely through penetration during intercourse, and not every disease displays immediate symptoms making it even easier to unknowingly transmit the virus.
This is why regular Herpes testing in Shreveport is so important, since the virus can be spread through casual contact. The simple test only takes a few minutes and it can effectively treat and stop the spread of the viral disease. Regular HIV testing in Shreveport should also be a part of your long-term healthcare.
Demographics play a key role in the STD rates for an area, and this will include social and economic factors, along with gender and age. While STDs were generally only seen in teens and young adults, older men and women are now testing positive for a sexually transmitted disease more often.
Part of the reason for the increasing number of middle age and senior citizens who test positive for a STD is due to living longer and staying healthy. With a larger number of older residents staying sexually active, their chances for contracting a STD drastically increase.
The lack of a comprehensive sexual education program in the public schools makes it difficult for teens and their parents to learn about the importance of regular testing. With the ability for some sexually transmitted diseases to spread simply by casual contact, it is critical that everyone gets tested as part of their regular health exam.
Lower income families often find that they simply can’t afford regular testing, and health officials are also dealing with a language barrier from the increasing number of Hispanic and Asian residents. Until everyone can and does get tested regularly, this southern city will continue to suffer from a high STD rate.
Public HIV centers and mobile STI testing can give you results, often on the same day, but privacy can be a problem. There are STD clinics that are anonymous, no one needs to know why you’re at the lab. It is affordable and fast so a day at the art museums will still be possible.