Even the parkway covers over 300 miles across the state, this is no reason for STD rates to be increasing at such an alarming rate. According to statistics gathered over that past twenty years, this area has been seeing a steady increase in the number of sexually reported diseases each year.
While some areas are higher than others, there is no denying that sexually transmitted diseases are a large health problem for all residents.
It is not only Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infections that are one the rise, the statistics show that the number of Syphilis incidents is also increasing. Twenty years ago health professionals believed that they had this potentially deadly sexually transmitted disease under control, but according to recent data it is on the rise in young and older adults.
This is what is surprising to many area officials who mistakenly believed that STDs only occur in teens and young adults. Now that older residents are also testing positive more often, it is even harder to ignore the growing health problem. Until everyone understands how important it is for their continued good health to get tested regularly, this large area of the state will continue to see high STD rates.
Some of the statistics that indicate STD rates are on the rise include,
- In the three year period spanning from 1993 to 1995 the rate of infection for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis was 330.4 per 100,000 residents compared to a rate of 531.53 for the years ranging from 2012 to 2014.
- Miami-Dade County along the parkway saw a STD rate of 505.84 for the three year period of 2012 to 2014.
In order to combat the rising number of sexually transmitted diseases reported each year, some public schools in the area are opting to implement comprehensive and medically accurate classes that discuss this growing health problem. While only a few counties have rejected the abstinence only program recommended and financed by the federal government, health officials are beginning to notice a slight decrease in the number of STDs reported among teens and young adults.
Studies have shown that sexual education classes are the most effective method of preventing the spread of STDs. Not only do these classes cover the various changes the body goes through during puberty, it also discusses STDs and all of the ways these diseases can be spread. The comprehensive programs also deal with the use of contraceptives, and how important it is to practice safe sexual habits.
While not all parents are in favor of these comprehensive programs, there is no denying the fact that this seems to be one of the most effective methods of preventing the spread of STDs. It is still important for students to have regular Herpes testing along the Sunshine Parkway, especially if they want to stop the spread of the virus in area high schools. Regular HIV testing along the Sunshine Parkway is also vital for continue good health, and the simple procedure is quick and relatively painless.
Since the parkway covers such a large area there are several demographical factors that are affecting the STD rates. The diverse population spread out over several counties is making it difficult for health officials to reach everyone, and there is also a problem with occasional language barriers.
With several school districts using different sexual education programs it is hard to ensure teens and young adults are getting the information they need to protect themselves from STDs, and this includes discussions concerning the importance of regular testing.
Strong conservative and religious beliefs are also contributing to the problem, along with several common misconceptions regarding STDs. Shame and embarrassment can make it difficult for some residents to admit that they might be infected, and this is thought to be one of the reasons for the high STD rate among Hispanic and African American men.
A resurgence in intravenous drug use, especially among older men, is causing Syphilis and other STD rates to rise. Drug use and other risky behavior is also thought to be responsible for the growing number of men and women who are testing positive for more than one sexually transmitted disease at a time.
Until everyone understands the risks associated with not getting tested on a regular basis the number of sexually transmitted diseases will continue to rise in this part of the state.
With miles of scenic countryside and coastline to explore it is easy to forget that the number of sexually transmitted diseases reported is rising each year, and that it is important to get tested regularly to protect yourself and others. While there are several neighborhood clinics along the parkway, many people choose to avoid the long lines and the embarrassing possibility of running into a familiar face and put off getting tested for another day. Now you can easily schedule confidential STD testing with one simple phone call and only spend 20 minutes or so at a local lab, which still leaves you plenty of time to explore all of the cities along the parkway.