Even though this planned community is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg metro area and this does affect its STD rates, no one expected the recent statistics released by the CDC and Florida State Health Department to be so high. In a ten year period the rates for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and infectious Syphilis have more than doubled, and the same is also true for its HIV rate.
Currently the state has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS infections in the country, with recent statistics indicating that it now has the dubious distinction of being 4th in the nation. This is not good news for Spring Hill and the rest of Hernando County. In the three year period of 2013-2015 the STD rate was reported at 286.1 per 100,000 residents.
Teens and young adults are among those with the greatest risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection, especially African American and Hispanic men and women. While Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infections are most common in residents ages 18 to 24, older men are testing positive for primary and secondary Syphilis with increasing frequency.
Even HIV/AIDS rates are increasing at an alarming rate, and it is not only a problem for the LBGT community. This infectious virus is affect residents of all ages, regardless of their sexual preferences.
Until residents understand that everyone is at risk and that testing is the only way to help stop the spread of STDs, the rates will continue to rise. Here are some of the other statistics recently released,
- 1994-1996 the county reported 278 incidents of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis, compared to 1,519 in the three year period of 2013 to 2015.
- The state has the 4th highest rate of HIV/AIDS infections in the nation, and this includes surrounding Hernando County.
Even as the STD rates continue to rise, including the number of HIV incidents reported each year the state still refuses to update its current sex education program for primary and secondary students.
Adding to the problem is the fact that these programs are not always presented by unbiased groups who often choose to leave out important information that is vital if students want to be able to protect their sexual health.
One of the main reasons for the lack of comprehensive sex education programs is the simple fact that the state still promotes abstinence. While there is nothing wrong with this if medically accurate information is also included, unfortunately this is not the case in the state or county.
It is not uncommon for the presenters of the sex education classes to be affiliated with religious organizations, and this means that much of the information students need to learn may not be included due to conflicts with certain beliefs. Parents also have the option to excuse their child from participating in these classes, which means students often do not learn how important regular Herpes testing in Spring Hill can be if they want to avoid contracting the easily spread virus. Regular HIV testing in Spring Hill is also vital for everyone’s continued good health, and judging by the high rate of infections residents are still unaware of how important this screening can be.
Considered part of the greater Tampa-St Petersburg metro area, this small planned community does have a diverse population. While this does help to make Spring Hill a great place to live, it is also contributing to the neighborhood’s high STD rate. Different cultural and religious beliefs are making it difficult for health officials to reach everyone and stress the importance of regular visits to an STI clinic. Without this information a large percentage of residents do not even realize that their sexual health could be at risk.
A shortage of STI testing centers is also contributing to the problem, and when residents do find a clinic the long lines and staff shortages are causing many of them to simply walk away.
One of the largest contributing factors to the high STD rates in the area is due to a simple lack of education. While abstinence can and will prevent pregnancy, it is not an effective way to prevent the spread of STDs. Many residents are not aware that sexually transmitted diseases can be spread through various methods, and this is putting everyone’s health at risk.
Until everyone realizes how important testing is for their health and that of those around them, this small community can expect to see its STD rates continue to rise.
As part of the Florida Nature Coast there is plenty to see and do in this small community, including taking the short drive into the city for a fun evening at the clubs. Before you take off for the day it is important to take a couple of minutes and think about your sexual health. If you don’t want to spend the entire day waiting in long lines at the local clinic, but you still want to get tested there is a faster and easy way. With one phone call you can schedule confidential STD testing, and only spend a few minutes at the local lab. This way you can take care of your sexual health and still have plenty of time to enjoy the sights along the coast.