Located in Onondaga County, the city of Syracuse is dealing with a rising STD rate and statistics indicate that this has been occurring over the past twenty years.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea rates are soaring in men and women, and health officials are worried that unless residents start protecting themselves and get tested on a regular basis these numbers will continue to climb and surpass state and national averages. It is not only the rates of these two sexually transmitted diseases that are on the rise, but Syphilis diagnoses and HIV/AIDS percentages are also climbing. This has many health officials concerned since they though Syphilis incidents were on the decline over the past two decades.
The statistics also indicate that it is not only teens and young adults that are at risk, but older residents are also testing positive for a sexually transmitted disease more often. This has lead to an increased awareness by some city leaders about the importance of education and STD testing.
Some of the statistics that indicate there is a problem with sexually transmitted diseases in the area include,
- Between 2011 and 2012 the rate of Chlamydia diagnoses rose from 1604 to 1671.
- In 2011 92 men tested positive for Gonorrhea compared to 261 twelve months later in 2012.
- There were 124 women diagnosed with Gonorrhea in 2011 compared to 338 in 2012.
- African Americans are among those with the highest risk of contracting Chlamydia or Gonorrhea according to 2012 statistics.
Schools districts in the city and state are trying to combat the rising teen pregnancy and STD rates by implementing sexual education programs in the classrooms, but this is meeting with resistance by some educators and parents.
Unfortunately even though one of the best methods of preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies is to educate students on the importance of using contraceptives if they engage in intercourse, many officials and parents still cling to the mistaken belief that abstinence is the only way to keep students safe. With STD rates soaring and more teens graduating pregnant or dropping out of school, many people still will not admit that abstinence only classes are not enough.
Not all STDs are spread through sexual contact, which means abstinence will not protect against all venereal diseases. Adding to the problem with education is the fact that no one is getting the message that regular testing should be part of a normal health care routine.
Regular Herpes testing in Syracuse can help prevent the spread of the virus throughout area schools, and it is also a good time to check for the presence of other STDs. Regular HIV testing in Syracuse is also vital for continued good health, even if you are not sexually active.
One of the largest contributing factors to the spread of STDs is the lack of available information. Many students and even older residents do not realize that they are engaging in risky behaviors. The lack of information also makes it difficult for health professionals to stress the importance of regular testing to adults and teenagers.
Recent economic problems have forced some of the community health centers to close, and this has also resulted in a shortage of qualified personnel to perform the tests. Economic hardships are also making it difficult for everyone to afford testing regularly, especially since many of the programs designed to help lower income families are no longer available.
A strong conservative base in the city has made it difficult for health officials to implement the necessary programs in the area, and this has also made it harder for some teens and young adults to get the information or advice they need to stay safe. This has lead to a mistaken belief by some of the city’s youth that a STD can’t happen to them.
An increase in intravenous drug use among older men is being help partially responsible for the rise in primary and secondary Syphilis diagnoses, along with the fact that this risky behavior often leads to other poor decisions concerning their sexual health. Other demographical factors include the fact the residents are staying sexually active longer, and teens are engaging in intercourse at a younger age. Until everyone understands how important it is to get tested on a regular basis the number of STDs reported each year will continue to rise.
Before heading out to catch a hockey game or spend the day out by the canal, it is important to take a few minutes to consider your sexual health. Regular screenings are important for your health and that of others, and the best way to protect yourself is to get tested regularly. If you want to avoid the long lines and crowded waiting rooms that are common in community facilities you can take care of your health with one quick and easy phone call. With a quick call you can schedule confidential STD testing and only spend a few minutes at a nearby lab, which still gives you plenty of time to explore the city.