In 2015 the CDC released statistics concerning the number of diseases reported in South Davis and found that STDs accounted for 56.9 percent. While this percentage is for the entire county, it still shows that sexually transmitted diseases are a health problem.
The statistics also indicate that teens and young adults are among those with the greatest risk, and women are often twice as likely as men to contract a sexually transmitted disease. Even though this is common throughout the country, it is also a health problem that can be easily resolved with regular testing.
Sexually transmitted diseases have been increasing in frequency throughout the county in the last twenty years, and this includes all of the common STDs. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea rates have risen, along with the number of teens that contract Herpes each year in school. South Davis is also seeing an increase in the number of Syphilis incidents reported each year, and this includes primary and secondary diagnoses.
Since 2012 Chlamydia rates for the area have been at or above state averages, and this is particularly alarming considering it is one of the smallest counties in the state. Other statistics that indicate the ongoing STD problem in the area include,
- Women accounted for 57.1 percent of all sexually transmitted diseases in 2015, with the majority occurring in the 20 to 24 year old age bracket.
- Chlamydia accounted for 88 percent of the STDs reported in 2015.
- Males are almost twice as likely to contract Gonorrhea according to 2015 CDC statistics.
Even though STDs account for over 56 percent of the diseases reported each year, the public school system still relies on classes that teach abstinence is the best method of protection. While it is true that abstaining from sexual activity is the best way to prevent pregnancy, it is not effective at stopping or preventing STDs.
Sexually transmitted viruses can be spread through several methods, with intercourse only being one. This is one of the reasons Herpes is so prevalent in the area’s secondary schools, and why it can be relatively easy to spread the AIDS virus without even realizing it. Without all of the information teens and adults need to protect themselves from these viruses, STDs will continue to account for the majority of diseases reported each year.
This means allowing sexual education classes to discuss measures of prevention other than abstinence. The importance of regular Herpes testing in South Davis also needs to be addressed. The procedure can help stop the spread of the high contagious virus that can affect someone for the rest of their life. Regular HIV testing in South Davis is just as important, and thankfully by law this information is currently included in the school’s sex education program.
There are several reasons why STD rates are rising in South Davis, but the main one is lack of information. This staunchly conservative county believes strongly in abstinence based classes that are in strict observance with their religion. Residents feel that any discussions regarding contraceptives should be left up to the parents’ discretion.
In some cases teens do get the information they need, but the majority of parents are not comfortable discussing the subject. Mormon beliefs also forbid intercourse before marriage making it unnecessary for schools to offer sexual education classes. Unfortunately this is not an effective method of preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, as indicated by the high percentage reported annually. Until everyone understands how STDs are spread and how important regular testing is the number reported each year will continue to rise.
The strong religious beliefs also make it difficult for residents to find someone to talk to if there is a problem with their sexual health. In some instances they could risk excommunication, which can have a devastating effect on their lives. This has also resulted in a fear of being seen at a clinic and begins to explain why residents are reluctant to get tested.
There is also a shortage of health care centers in the rural county which can make it difficult for some residents to get to, especially teens and older adults. Until these and other issues are addressed the small county can expect STDs to outnumber all of the other diseases reported each year.
With the Great Salt Lake and Wasatch Mountain Range to the east and west there is plenty for residents to see and do. Before you see how buoyant the salt in the lake really is or climb the mountain trails it is important to take care of your sexual health. It is understandable if you don’t want to go to a local health clinic and now you don’t have to. You can schedule confidential STD testing with one quick phone call and only spend a few minutes in the privacy of a local lab.