Located in Ventura County this small LA suburb is experiencing the same health crisis as the rest of the Golden State, and recent statistics released by the CDC indicate that this has been an ongoing trend for the past twenty years. Sexually transmitted diseases are a health problem and until residents start getting tested regularly the number of STDs reported each year will continue to rise.
Even though the area does have a high rate of STDs, it is lower than state averages. While this has caused some city leaders to remark that the STD rate is under control, the statistics indicate that this is not the case. Chlamydia is still one of the most commonly detected STDs in young women, and the recent data also shows that Syphilis incidents are on the rise in men. This is especially concerning to health officials since they had thought that this disease was already under control.
What was really surprising to learn was that while Syphilis incidents were almost non-existent in Native Americans, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea rates are on the rise. Statistically these sexually transmitted diseases tend to be highest in African Americans and Hispanics. Other data released by the CDC that has health officials concerned include,
- In 2014 Native and African American men and women Chlamydia and Gonorrhea incidents were twice as high than those reported for Caucasians.
- Between 2005 and 2014 Syphilis incidents nearly doubled in men.
- Men between the ages of 25 to 29 are almost twice as likely to contract primary or secondary Syphilis as those in other age brackets.
According to recent studies the best way to lower STD rates and prevent the further spread of sexually transmitted diseases is to educate students and residents on ways to protect themselves. In response to the findings of these studies the state has now made sexual education classes mandatory in all public schools.
Beginning in January 2016 sexual education classes will now be offered to students in grades 7 through 12. Not only will students learn how these diseases are spread, but also how to keep themselves safe. Statistics show that over half of all graduating seniors are sexually active, which not only indicates that the abstinence only programs are ineffective but that students are potentially already at risk at a young age.
When teens and young adults understand how all sexually transmitted diseases are spread and that the only way to stay safe is to be tested on a regular basis local health officials are hopeful that the STD rates will begin to fall. The newly implemented classes will also cover HIV prevention and will include all current and medically accurate information.
Regular Herpes testing in Thousand Oaks is important in order to prevent the spread of this virus throughout area schools. Regular HIV testing in Thousand Oaks is also vital, even with the new information being taught in schools. When everyone takes responsibility for their sexual health, the suburb will finally start to see a decrease in its STD rates.
This small suburb has a diverse demographical makeup that is contributing to the rise in STD rates. Cultural differences combined with a deep mistrust of public officials among some demographical groups is making it difficult for health professionals to stress the importance of regular testing, and language barriers are also adding to the problem.
The large numbers of migrant workers that travel through the area are also contributing to the problem, since many have never been tested for STDs. Due to a lack of education about the dangers associated with unprotected sex, many of these workers do not even realize that they are at risk. This also makes it easy for them to infect others, especially since many of the STD/STIs do not show any signs or symptoms during the incubation period.
Thousand Oaks is also located close to LA, and it is not uncommon for residents to spend some time in the downtown area. Filled with bars and glamorous nightclubs, it’s easy for residents to forget about their safety and engage in risky behaviors. While this may be fun for an evening, it also significantly increases your chances of contracting a STD.
One of the biggest contributing factors to the rise in STD rates, especially Syphilis in men is an increased use of intravenous drugs. Sharing needles and other risky behavior, is also causing new HIV diagnoses to increase. This has made it even more important for residents to understand how important it is for them to take care of their sexual health.
Close to downtown LA and beautiful Conejo Valley there really is something for everyone in Thousand Oaks. Before you get lost in the scenery or a shop it is important to take a minute and think about your sexual health. Getting tested for STDs is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy, and you can even avoid the long lines at the community centers. With one quick phone call you can schedule confidential STD testing and only spend a few minutes at a local lab.