Located in San Bernardino County it was surprising to some officials when they learned that the small city is seeing a spike in its STD rates. With a population under 200,000, according to the latest state census, many people thought the tiny community was immune to the growing health epidemic.
The recent statistics released by the CDC and state agencies didn’t particularly surprise health officials who have been stressing the fact that STDs rates are on the rise across the state. Not only do the statistics indicate the there is currently a health crisis occurring in the area, but that it has been building for the past twenty years.
Statistics show that the increase in sexually transmitted diseases is not new, but it has been an ongoing problem that has been largely ignored until recently. While Chlamydia and Gonorrhea rates have always been high, it was the growing number of older adults who are testing positive for primary and secondary Syphilis that get city and county leaders to pay attention.
Typically most sexually transmitted diseases occurred in teens and young adults, but statistics show that this trend is changing. More older residents are testing positive for at least one STD each year, and the data indicates that this is likely to continue. Some of the statistics that have local officials worried about the health of the city’s residents include,
- Gonorrhea rates in men and women rose significantly between 2013 and 2014.
- Since 2005 primary and secondary Syphilis incidents have been increasing in men.
- 41.8 percent of the cases of Chlamydia reported in 2014 occurred in women ages 20 to 24.
Even as the state passes legislation requiring all public schools to offer comprehensive sexual education classes to teenage students, the county has already accepted a granted that will allow it to do just that.
While some parents still oppose including any information other than abstinence in the sexual education programs and point to the fact that it is illegal for someone under the age of 18 to give consent, the high STD rates among teens is a clear indication that this approach is no longer effective.
To make up for the loss of government money that school districts counted on annually, grants are still given when cities implement the new curriculum. Abstinence and the benefits associated with this positive choice are still encouraged, along with HIV prevention. These classes also cover how teens can protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases, including the importance of using protection.
District superintendents are hopeful that these comprehensive classes will give students a place where they can feel comfortable discussing any questions or problems they might have about their sexual health. The program will also cover the importance of regular STD testing.
Regular Herpes testing in Victorville is important if residents want to stop the spread of the contagious virus in area high schools. Regular HIV testing is also important for your continued good health. The simple procedure only takes a few minutes, and it can potentially save your life.
This small city has a unique demographical makeup that is contributing to the spread of STDs that includes its diverse cultural makeup. Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans and Caucasians are the predominant ethnicities in the area, and this has made it difficult for health officials.
A large percent of the population still has a deep mistrust of the government that dates back several generations, and this can make it almost impossible for health officials to discuss the need for regular STD testing with many of the city’s residents. There are also vast cultural differences that make it difficult for teens to discuss their sexual activity, along with any problems that they might be facing.
The area is also suffering from economic troubles that have forced many community centers to close, and the lack of affordable health care is also contributing to the problem. Many of the area’s lower income families simply cannot afford regular STD checkups, even if they do find a health care facility that is open to the general public.
Victorville’s relatively remote location has resulted in many residents feeling like a serious health epidemic couldn’t happen to them, and some still persist in ignoring the recent warnings from the CDC. As long as even a few people are still in denial about the high STD rates, the small city will continue to see the number of infected residents continue to climb.
It is almost impossible for residents to believe that their small rural city could be experiencing a health crisis, but that is unfortunately what is happening. Even this close knit community is feeling the devastating effects of what STDs can do, and even though new education programs have been implemented it is still important to get tested regularly. The lack of clinics in the area is one of the main reasons residents put off this important checkup, but this doesn’t have to be a problem. Now you can schedule confidential STD testing with one quick phone call, and only spend 20 minutes or so at a nearby lab.