As the population continues to grow in Greene county so do STDs.
Recent years has seen the STD rates surpass the national averages, and health officials are concerned this will only continue.
The statistics indicate that not enough is being done to protect and inform residents, and until that changes the area can continue to expect the number of residents who test positive for a sexually transmitted infection to continue to rise. Some of the recent statistics that support health officials concerns include,
- In 2015 there were 1,459 cases of Chlamydia reported, compared to 928 in 2010.
- Gonorrhea incidents numbered 228 in 2010 and had risen to 500 by the end of 2015.
- There were 18 new cases of primary and secondary Syphilis reported in the county during 2015, compared to 13 in 2010.
Due to the conservative nature of the state the amount of information allowed in sex education classes is severely limited, according to some concerned parents and health officials.
While the law regarding sex education policies in the public schools was revised in 2007, it still focuses on abstinence as the only “100 percent effective method” of preventing STDs and teen pregnancies. While this might be able to lower the number of teens who become pregnant during high school, it does not help prevent the spread of STDs.
The amount of information taught in schools is improving, thanks to recent changes in the law, but not enough is being done to protect students and residents. Even though medically accurate information on HIV and STDs is now included in the curriculum, the number of infections is still continuing to rise.
Many city officials and some parents blame this on the limited information concerning sexual orientation, which also makes it difficult for some students to discuss any problems they might have. Teens are also allowed to opt out of these classes, which is another reason STD rates are rising.
Without knowing all of the facts many students and their parents don’t realize the risk. Regular herpes testing in Springfield can help, and even prevent embarrassing breakouts from plaguing students throughout their lives. This also pertains to HIV testing in Springfield.
There are several demographical factors that are responsible for the growing number of STDs reported in the area, and the main one is the population boom.
More and more people are moving into the area, and many of these new residents are already infected unknowingly with a STD. With fewer people being tested across the country, it is not uncommon for sexually transmitted diseases to be spread simply by moving to a new neighborhood. Unfortunately this problem is expected to continue until everyone schedules regular health checkups.
Common stereotypes concerning certain STDs are also playing a role in the rising number of infections reported in the area each year. The fear of being singled out due to the type of infection can prevent some residents from being seen at a health clinic, which often leads to the disease being spread throughout the community.
Lower income families often find it difficult to afford getting tested, and a shortage of community clinics is also adding to the problem.
Many African American and Hispanic residents fear being ostracized by family and friends, which has resulted in higher than average rates of infection in these demographical groups. There is also a language barrier in some Hispanic communities, which can make it difficult for health officials to stress the importance of being tested regularly.
As the population continues to grow in the area it has become even more important to take a few minutes and consider your sexual health. The simple procedure is relatively painless, and residents now have other options than standing in long lines at the community centers. Instead of ignoring your sexual health due to embarrassment participate in anonymous STI testing. There are clinics close by, which still gives you plenty of time to meet your new neighbors or spend the day exploring the Fantastic Caverns.