Statistics recently released show that Topeka and surrounding Shawnee County have some of the highest STD rates in the state. These statistics also show that this trend has been ongoing.
While the city does have a STD rate below the national average, this unfortunately is due to its smaller population per square mile and not an effective sexual education program.
The statistics show that females present the highest risk for contracting Chlamydia, and the majority of infections occurs in teens and young adults. Young women also have a higher incident rate for Gonorrhea, though teenage boys are also at risk.
What is truly alarming health officials is Shawnee County’s high number of HIV infections which total 230 in mid June of 2015. With the number slowly growing over the last twenty years, it is extremely important the residents get tested.
Syphilis incidents are also increasing in the city, and while some health officials blame the number of infections on outside sources residents are still at risk of contracting this potentially deadly infection. Some of the recently released statistics that emphasize the importance of regular STD testing include;
- Between 2011 and 2013 there were over 2,000 reports of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and early Syphilis in the county.
- Over 72 percent of the Gonorrhea cases in the state occurred in Shawnee and the three surrounding counties.
- 76.5 percent of the Chlamydia diagnoses in Shawnee County occurred in women during 2012.
While abstaining from sex until marriage will prevent teen pregnancies, it’s not enough to stop the spread of STDs among teens and young adults. Even older residents are being affected by the lack of education available as they are also testing positive more often for a sexually transmitted disease.
Without comprehensive sex education in place, many do not realize how important it is to be tested regularly for a STD. Even students who are not sexually active are at risk, since some viruses can be transmitted without having intercourse. This does not cover the dangers associated with having unprotected sex, and these risks are not normally discussed in the city schools.
As the number of STDs continues to rise regular Herpes testing in Topeka is important for continue good health. The simple test only takes a few minutes and it can also prevent the easily transmittable disease from spreading to others. Regular HIV testing in Topeka is also critical for your health and that of others, especially since many of the symptoms of this disease may not be noticeable until it has turned into full blown AIDS.
While the lack of a comprehensive sexually education program in the city’s public school system is contributing to the problem it is not the only factor that is causing STD rates to rise.
A lack of community centers is making it difficult for some to find health care facilities, and many lower income families simply cannot afford regular STD testing. Residents in some of the lower income neighborhood also have a deep distrust of government officials which is making it difficult for health professionals to inform everyone of the importance of regular testing.
Age and gender are also affecting the city’s STD rates, and more young women are testing positive for certain sexually transmitted diseases than ever before. Older residents are also staying sexually active longer which is putting them at an increased risk. Until all residents understand the dangers associated with engaging in unprotected sex the health of the entire community will continue to be at risk.
Other demographical factors that are contributing to the rising number of STD infections includes a higher number of teens and adults engaging in risky behaviors. Intravenous drug use is on the rise in the area, and many health officials believe that this is part of the reason primary and secondary Syphilis cases are on the rise. Certain stereotypes associated with some of the sexually transmitted diseases are also adding to the problem.
Mobile STD testing and HIV clinics can give you fast results, but you probably won’t be able to remain anonymous. Everyone will know why you’re there. Topeka is proud to have STI clinics that are private and affordable. Some even accept patients on the weekends.