Reports are generated annually from the Center of Disease Control and they are available for public viewing. They are able to produce these reports because of the information that is forwarded from all STD testing providers including hospitals, clinics and private physicians. No personal client information is shared, only demographical data including age, sex, residential region, ethnicity and income bracket. The reason that these facts are included is to help statisticians to develop of picture of which groups of people currently have the highest STD rates, which diseases are the most common and which groups need to have more educational and health care resources. These are attempts to curb the spread of these diseases and to help the people who may not even know that they are at risk. The following table shows the percentage of people who tested positive for specific STDs per 100,000 in population.
- Chlamydia- 447.2
- Gonorrhea- 97.9
- Syphilis- 11.1
CDC surveillance reports are sent out annually to help track the trends and patterns in STD infections in the United States. The current numbers for this area are higher than they are in some other parts of the United States, which creates an urgency to do something proactive about this epidemic. The figures only represent those which have already been tested and are found to be positive. There are many more people in high risk groups who have not been tested. The goal is to allocate more funding and blanket the communities of this city with increased educational and informational outreach programs. It is believed that if those at the highest risk would get tested, the numbers of positive results would increase significantly. Estimations or educated guesses about the roadblocks and obstacles which are preventing people from getting tested serve as the basis for beginning discussions is strategic planning on the part of local health departments for devising plans to get the word out about the problem.
The city has many pockets with high numbers of persons living at or below the poverty level. This is believed to be a contributing factor to the STD problem in a few different ways. First, those from less affluent areas tend to have higher school drop out rates. Many of them miss out on the mandatory sexual health education courses which are offered. They may not understand how dangerous unprotected sex can be, nor be aware of the potential consequences, signs or symptoms of an STD. In addition to this, they are less likely to have the financial resources to obtain quality testing and health care if infected. Free centers are available, but they do not always have enough funding to cover the needs of everyone in the community. Some clients must wait for weeks or even months before they can secure testing at a rate that they can afford. This can exacerbate the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and increase the public problem.
The number of women who have Chlamydia is double than the numbers for men. Although trends show that those in their low to mid twenties have the highest rates, the figures for teen girls of school age are becoming higher. Gonorrhea rates are slightly higher for males, as is Syphilis, HIV and Hepatitis B and C. The rates are increasing for males who engage in male to male sex and there is a high frequency of co-infection among all types of STD, but for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea in particular.
Local government officials are aware of the STD problem in the region and they are working with localities to develop strategies to curb the spread. Education is believed to be the key to lowering the rates, combined with additional funding to test and treat those who cannot afford the testing costs. Public schools are now mandated to provide sexual health education for all students. This is given before the majority of teens become sexually active and the hope is that it will arm them with the tools to abstain or at least use protection to lessen their exposure to STD infection. They learn about signs and symptoms that STDs can cause, how to prevent infection and where to go for a Herpes test or for HIV testing.
Anyone who has had unprotected sex is potentially at risk. The rates are higher for some certain groups of people and your risk is determined by the total number of risk factors. If there is any doubt whatsoever, the best course of action is to get tested. You can easily order your STD testing and spend just a few moments of your time dropping by a local lab to get your results on their way. You’ll find courteous and professional staff at the clinic to assist you and answer any questions you have. You can rest assured that your privacy will be protected and you’ll appreciate the peace of mind in knowing.