What many people do not realize is just how many STDs are in existence in the world. From the more serious conditions like HIV and AIDS to the less common and less well-understood STDs, there are more than 20 sexually transmitted diseases circulating in the United States. It is important to be acutely aware of the STDs that are more prevalent in your area than others so you know what to look out for in terms of symptoms and what you should be tested for.
In Charles County, where Waldorf is located, the STD that occurs with the greatest frequency is Chlamydia. This sexually transmitted disease occurs at a rate of about 562.6 cases per 100,000 people throughout the region. The rate of Chlamydia cases is particularly troubling because it exceeds both the state and national averages. Throughout the state, the rate is at about 455.3 cases per 100,000 and nationally, the rate is almost exactly even with the state rate at 456.7 cases per 100,000 people.
The second most common STD in the area is HIV. The rate of HIV is at about 293 cases per 100,000 people. This is quite a bit lower than the state average which is 632.9 cases per 100,000 people but is fairly close to the national average of 350.4 cases per 100,000 people. And following HIV is Gonorrhea. Gonorrhea occurs at a rate of right around 103.9 cases per 100,000 people in the area which is slightly elevated compared to the state average of 97.6 cases per 100,000.
The state laws and policies regarding sexual health education are fairly comprehensive and extensive in nature. However, these laws and regulations are also quite conservative in nature. The primary goal of sexual health education in public schools is to emphasize the family as the basic and integral base unit for society and to reinforce traditional ideas of gender roles, family structures, and abstinence until marriage.
There are provisions in the sexual health curriculum that require students be educated in the basics of HIV/AIDS including disease characteristics, how the disease is spread, and prevention strategies. However, again, abstinence is the primary prevention method emphasized.
Beyond this elective sexual education courses are offered in high schools but comprehensive sexual education classes including the discussion of other STDs, contraception, testing, and treatment are not required by law and are only offered as optional. Parents also have the right to opt their child out of any or all of the sexual health education coursework that they deem inappropriate or undesirable.
There are other resources available to students and adults alike for more detailed sexual health education. This includes school guidance counselor offices, the school nurse, and local clinics and medical offices as well as city, county, and state public health departments. All of these resources are available at a person’s discretion but are not a part of mandatory sexual health education.
Demographic information can provide a great deal of insight into the various trends throughout a region or area, particularly in terms of public health concerns. This is also true of the Waldorf and Charles County area. The total population of this city is around 67,752 people with 52.8 percent of those people being female and 47.2 percent of those people being male. Among all of the people in the city, 55.2 percent of the population identifies as Black or African American while 27.7 percent identify as White or Caucasian and 6.8 percent identify as Hispanic or Latino. The median age in the area is 33.6 years of age.
- Throughout the state of Maryland, HIV occurred at the highest rates in the African American population. In fact, in 2013 75.7 percent of the new cases of HIV diagnosed in the state were among the African American population. Only 14.8 percent of the new HIV cases occurred among the Caucasian or White population.
- Throughout the state, women were diagnosed with Chlamydia at a rate 2.3 times higher than that of men. And the highest number of Chlamydia cases occurred among people between the ages of 20 and 24 years old.
- Gonorrhea cases too saw the highest prevalence in the 20 to 24 age range.
Taking charge of your sexual health is up to you. You are the only one who can make the decision to know your STD status and get the care and treatment that you might need to deal with any STDs that you may have. The time is now to get on your phone and call to schedule yourself a Confidential STD Testing appointment at a Private STD Clinic in the Waldorf area. The sooner you get in and get your tests performed, the sooner you will have the knowledge that you need to control your sexual health. Be sure to get the standard screening for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea as well as a blood test for HIV. If you are concerned about possible Syphilis exposure or other STDs, you can also opt for additional tests.