Even though the city and surrounding Minnehaha County have a relatively small population when compared to other metropolitan areas around the nation, the area is still seeing a steady increase in the number of sexually transmitted diseases reported each year.
Statistics show that more residents are testing positive each year, and that this trend has been occurring since the 1970’s. In the past twenty years Syphilis and HIV incident rates have started to climb, which is particularly alarming to health officials who had previously believed that these two infections were under control.
In 2014 the number of Syphilis cases reported in the area was similar to those reported over thirty years ago. This and the rising number of residents testing positive for HIV has lead health officials to realize that not enough is being done to stop the spread of infections.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea rates are also on the rise, and the statistics seem to indicate that this trend is likely to continue. As more residents test positive for a sexually transmitted infection it is becoming extremely important that you protective yourself and get screened on a regular basis.
Some of the statistics that indicate the city and county are dealing with a health crisis include,
- In 2007 there were 257 of gonorrhea in the county, compared with 891 reported in 2014.
- 2013 saw 95 new cases of Syphilis in the area, which is the highest its been since the mid 1970’s.
- The highest number of reported cases of Chlamydia in the state was in Minnehaha County in 2014 with an estimated 4,200 new infections.
Like many cities across the nation sex education classes are not necessary for graduation, nor are public schools required to teach it. While schools do have to teach classes designed to help students develop strong characters, this generally only involves discussions concerning the benefits of abstinence.
Even though some studies have shown that abstinence does prevent pregnancy, it does not stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. It is not uncommon for students and parents to not realize how easy it is to pass or contract a STI, and until residents understand the risks the number of reported infections will continue to rise.
Without the information teens and adults need to stay safe, many will unknowingly contract a sexually transmitted disease. Since the misconception that the only way to contract a STD is through sexual activity is prevalent among teens, many residents do not recognize the signs and symptoms even when it is occurring to them. This makes it possible for the virus to continue to be spread.
Along with implementing sexual education courses in the public schools, students and their parents need to understand the importance of scheduled health screenings. Regular Herpes testing in Sioux Falls can stop the spread of this virus that is often found in teens and young adults. Regular HIV testing in Sioux Falls is also vital for continued good health, especially considering the high rate of infection in the area.
There are several demographical factors that are affecting the STD percentages for the area, and one is the relatively remote location of the city. The state is sparsely populated with little variation in activities for teens and young adults which can lead to boredom and a willingness to try new things. This often includes engaging in sexual activity, and since the majority of teens and young adults do not understand how STDs are spread they don’t realize that they are putting themselves at risk.
Along with a lack of education, a spike in tourism is also driving up the number of infections reported each year. Often visitors to the area are infected with a STI and simply pass it on to unsuspecting residents. What is upsetting to health officials is that this could easily be prevented if residents understand the dangers associated with unprotected sex and how sexually transmitted diseases are spread.
One of the reasons attributed to the growing number of new Syphilis and HIV/AIDS cases is the resurgence in intravenous drug use. This is increasingly becoming a problem in older males, many of whom never tested positive for an STD until recently. Sharing needles is the leading cause, along with a loss of inhibitions regarding sex. As the euphoric feelings from the drugs set in, it is not uncommon for people to forget to practice safe sex.
Until these problems are brought under control and everyone realizes that they need to be screened for all of the sexually transmitted infections on a regular basis, the numbers for the area will continue to climb.
While the beauty of the countryside can make you forget about your health, it is still important to remember to stop in at one of the community facilities. If the long lines are the reason you are putting off this important health checkup, you can easily avoid this problem with one quick and easy phone call. Now it is possible to schedule confidential STD testing and only spend 20 minutes or so at the local lab. It only takes a few minutes, and you will still have plenty of time to enjoy the scenic countryside.