It has become impossible to ignore the steady rise in STD rates. Statistics released by the CDC and Woodbury County Health Department show that the STD rates are increasing, and have been for the past twenty years.
Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis rates are rising across Siouxland, and the number of new HIV incidents reported annually is also increasing. Teens and young adults ages 15 to 24 are among those most affected, though older residents are also testing positive at an alarming rate.
While health officials were expecting the city’s Chlamydia and Gonorrhea rates to increase, the growing number of new HIV cases does have them concerned. In 2014 there were 66 people living with HIV in the area, and this does not include the new cases that were reported that year.
With the rates for all STDs increasing it is important that everyone take care of their sexual health.
The statistics also show that sexually transmitted diseases are affecting all demographics. African Americans are at a higher risk for contracting a STD, but this doesn’t mean that everyone isn’t at risk. When it comes to Chlamydia incidents women are the most affected, especially those ages 18 to 24. The same is also true for Gonorrhea, though the rate of infection for men has been skyrocketing in recent years.
Some of the other statistics that highlight the growing STD crisis in the area include,
- In 2015 the Chlamydia rate for the county was 560 per 100,000, compared to the state average of 371.5.
- The number of STDs reported in the county rose from 541 in 2010 to 726 in 2015.
- The HIV rate for the area in 2015 was 79.5 per 100,000 residents.
Like many other states sex education in the public schools is limited, even though STD rates continue to rise. The number of teen pregnancies reported annually is also increasing, which indicates the current policy is no longer effective.
While federal law mandates that students receive medically accurate information about STDs, including HIV the material used is often abstinence based. This is because the state allows public schools to choose their own curriculum.
Instead of learning how to protect themselves against STDs, students are often made to feel ashamed if they are sexually active. This means if there is a problem the majority of teens won’t discuss it or ask for the help that they might need.
Teens are often taught that condoms are ineffective at preventing STDs and teen pregnancies, and that abstinence is the only way to avoid contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Even though abstaining from intercourse will prevent unplanned pregnancies, it does not protect against all STDs since some of these diseases can be transmitted without engaging in sexual activity.
The best way to prevent the spread of STDs is with regular testing, unfortunately this is often not covered in many school districts. Regular Herpes testing in Sioux City is the best way to prevent the spread of the virus, especially in local high schools. Regular HIV testing in Sioux City is also important, especially now that the incident rates are rising.
It is impossible to ignore the rising STD rates and there are several factors contributing to the increases. As the number of reported incidents continues to climb, regular STD testing becomes even more important.
Unfortunately it is becoming difficult for many residents to take care of their sexual health. Budget cuts have resulted in some STI clinics closing and others being forced to have limited hours of operation. Long lines and crowded waiting rooms are common, and most residents don’t have the time to spend the entire day at a community health center.
Now that STD testing is no longer covered under Medicaid many residents are also finding that they can’t afford to take care of their sexual health.
It is the lack of comprehensive sex education that is being blamed for the skyrocketing STD rates, especially among teens and young adults. Many students aren’t aware of all the ways sexually transmitted diseases can be spread, and don’t realize that regular testing is important for their continued good health.
Many health officials are surprised by the fact that a majority of graduating teens do not know how to use a condom or that it can provide protection from sexually transmitted diseases. Until these and other issues are resolved, the city can expect to see its STD rates continue to rise.
Before you head out to the museums or plan on spending the day at one of the city’s parks, it is important to take a minute to think about your sexual health. The number of STDs reported annually is rising and this means that regular testing should be a part of your health care routine. It is understandable if you don’t want to spend the day waiting in line, and now there is a faster and easier way to get tested. With one simple phone call you can schedule confidential STD testing, and only spend a few minutes at a nearby lab. This way you still have plenty of time to enjoy your day.