Local physicians, hospitals and STD testing clinics are involved in a collaborative effort with the Center for Disease Control and local health departments. Every time a client receives STD testing, the results are recorded and forwarded to the appropriate departments for inclusion in a nationwide database. Analysts compile and organize the data to help establish who is at the greatest risk for particular STDs. No personal information is shared that could breach confidentiality. Demographic information including sex, age, race, income bracket, area of residence and testing results is the only information that is shared. This is used in tracking trends in infection rates to identify who is the most at risk for certain sexually transmitted diseases. This in turn helps in designing effective educational campaigns for getting the word out about STDs and why testing is important. The following statistics show the percentages of persons infected with specific types of STDs per 100,000 in population.
- Chlamydia -327.0
- Gonorrhea- 80.8
- Syphilis- 6.5
These statistics are only representative of the populations that have followed through with the process of STD testing. There are many out there who should be tested, but sadly, may not know the peril that they are facing by avoiding testing. Health Department analysts believe that if everyone who is at risk for sexually transmitted disease infection would get tested, the numbers would actually be much higher.
The increase of STD rates in the area is an issue that requires ongoing attention and action. Health department officials and legislators developed a plan for reaching young people just prior to the age at which some of them will begin sexual experimentation. Mandatory sexual health education courses are provided in the public schools. Students learn about the risks of unprotected sex including unwanted pregnancy and the risk of getting an STD. They also learn about the signs and symptoms of specific diseases and how to prevent contracting them. Upon completion, students will know where to go in the area for a Herpes test or for HIV testing among other types.
Sunnyvale is made up of people from all walks of life, rich, poor, and people who are in between. It is acknowledged that the high percentage of families at or below the poverty level has a definite impact upon the growing STD rates. This is largely because people who have fewer resources are less likely to receive the education and information required to realize their risk for STD infections. Fewer resources can also mean that there is not enough money for STD testing fees and any needed follow up treatment. In addition, there is often a lack of information about their risk and they may not realize the scope of the problem. Some types of STD infections may present few or no symptoms at the initial onset. This often leads to one person spreading it to another with a domino effect in society.
Even though there are free STD testing centers available for those who qualify according to the income guidelines, many still do not know that this resource exists. Another obstacle is the issue of funding. Most often, free or reduced cost services are available on a first come, first served basis. When funding runs out for the fiscal year or cycle, there are potential clients in need of testing who will have to wait until the fnds are replenished. During the waiting period, they may pass the STD on to others or experience significant health problems as a result of waiting for testing and or treatment.
There are people who may be embarrassed to visit a clinic for STD testing because they are afraid of who may see them there. Every effort is made to ensure that each client is treated with respect and that they receive private and confidential STD testing.
Chlamydia is highest in females who have nearly double the rate than men. People who are 20 to 24 years of are have the highest numbers followed by those 15 to 19, then 25 to 29 with the third highest rates. It is highest in Blacks followed by Whites, then Hispanics.
Gonorrhea is a little higher in men than in women. Recent trends show that the numbers are highest among males in the 20 to 24 group, followed by those 25 to 29, then 15 to 19. Blacks lead the numbers with Whites second and Hispanic populations have the third highest rates. Syphilis is higher in men in the age 20 to 24 group followed by 25 to 29, 45 to 54 and the fourth highest rates are seen in the 30 to 34 age group.
If you have had unprotected sex with a partner whose monogamy cannot be confirmed then you are at risk for STD infection. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to take measures to protect your sexual health. Private and confidential STD testing is easy to order and it only takes a few moments of your time to visit a local testing lab. Friendly and professional staff area available to help you complete the process so your results will be on their way. They can answer any questions that you might have so you can enjoy greater peace of mind.