Even though county and city leaders are quick to point out that statistics indicate STD rates are lower in the area than state averages, the fact still remains that the number of residents who test positive for a sexually transmitted infection are continuing to rise.
It is not just incidents of common STDs like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea that are increasing, the statistics also show that primary and secondary Syphilis rates are also rising. This is particularly worrisome for health care officials who mistakenly believed that this STD was under control. With the county’s average only slightly lower than the state’s, residents of this Washington city should be concerned.
Recent statistics seem to indicate that this trend has been ongoing for the past twenty years, especially when the numbers for Syphilis infections are compared. Even though most STDs are on the rise in the city and county there is some hope for residents, due in part to recent campaigns designed to encourage residents to get tested for HIV/AIDs the number of new diagnoses does seem to be decreasing. While this is good news, health care officials warn that there is still an “STD epidemic” as indicated by these statistics.
- In 2014 the county rate for Genital Herpes was reported at 43.6 percent, which is almost double the state’s average.
- There were 1,534 cases of Chlamydia reported in 2014 with the majority of these diagnoses being made in young women.
- 2007 saw 5,970 cases of Chlamydia in the city and surrounding area, compared to 8,509 incidents reported in 2011.
Even though state law does allow public schools to teach comprehensive sexual education classes, most cities choose to accept the funding that comes with using “abstinence only” programs. While abstaining from sexual intercourse will prevent pregnancy, it will not completely stop the spread of all STIs. Not all STDs are spread strictly by engaging in intercourse, some can be transmitted by other means.
Casual contact can easily spread the Herpes virus, which is one of the main reasons it is so prevalent in high schools. Without comprehensive programs that teach students how all STDs are spread the rate of infection in the city will continue to rise.
Schools are required to teach students how to protect themselves from HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, but the only method covered is abstinence. Until students and their parents understand how important it is to get screened for all of the sexually transmitted infections, everyone will be at risk.
Regular Herpes testing in Vancouver can help bring the transmittable virus under control, and prevent it from continuing to affect students’ lives. The disease is not curable it can only be managed, which is why it is important to take proactive steps to prevent its transmission. This is also why regular HIV testing in Vancouver is important, and the simple procedure could help save your life.
One of the attractions of this city is its wide demographical base, but this is also contributing to the growing number of residents who test positive for one or more sexually transmitted infection. While women test positive for Chlamydia more often than men, the same is not true for most of the other STDs.
Men are being diagnosed with Gonorrhea and Syphilis more often than women, and much of this increase is due to embarrassment and a lack of education. Without knowing how sexually transmitted diseases are spread, along with the warning signs and symptoms, it is easy to pass the infection without even realizing it. Many men also see contracting a STD as a weakness, while others still believe in many of the stereotypes that are a result of misinformation.
Embarrassment and shame often makes it difficult for men and women to get tested, even when obvious symptoms appear. Another reason for the climbing rate of infection is that residents are living longer and staying sexually active well into their “golden years”. Not only are older citizens lacking the information available today, many do not even realize that they can still become infected at their age.
A shortage of health centers in some neighborhoods, along with an inability to afford frequent screenings, is also causing a spike in STD percentages. The area also has a transient population during the warmer weather, and this means that some sexually transmitted diseases are brought in with visitors and temporary residents. Until everyone realizes how important it is to get screened for all of the sexually transmitted viruses the city will continue to have a problem.
Before heading out to the Columbia River or over to the historic airfield it is important to stop and think about your sexual health. If you are putting off testing due to long lines at the clinics or a fear of running into someone you know, there is a better and faster way to take care of your health. You can easily schedule confidential STD testing with a quick phone call and only spend a few minutes at a nearby lab, which will still give you plenty of time to enjoy a day on the river.