The nation’s capital is home to several iconic buildings and monuments, and Washington, DC is also experiencing an increase in the number of reported sexually transmitted diseases which include Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, C, Herpes, Syphilis, and HIV and a shortage of STD clinics. While there are a few free STD testing centers in Washington, DC the long lines have many residents choosing a different option. Now you can schedule private STD testing with one simple phone call and only spend 15 to 20 minutes at a local lab, which still gives you plenty of time to visit the Lincoln Memorial and see the sun set from the Washington Monument.
Home to the United States government, the District of Columbia is also experiencing a rapid rise in the number of reported cases of STDs, and while the nation’s capital is not a state it still tops the list for certain reported sexually transmitted diseases.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been tracking the rising STD rates for over 20 years and out of the 50 states, the nation’s capital has had the dubious honor of ranking 1st for the number of new cases of Gonorrhea between 2000 and 2013 and second for Chlamydia with an estimated 570 infections per every 100,000 residents.
What is giving city and national health officials some hope regarding the recently released statistics is the fact that HIV/AIDS diagnoses do seem to be decreasing, along with the number of newly reported cases of Hepatitis B and C. While this is a hopeful sign for health experts, the simple fact that Washington, DC has a Gonorrhea infection rate three times the national average shows that not everyone in the city understands and recognizes the importance of getting tested regularly.
- The District of Columbia reported an infection rate for Chlamydia of 570 cases per 100,000 residents between 2000 and 2013.
- There is an estimated 421 out of 100,000 people infected with Gonorrhea in the nation’s capital.
- During a 13 year period (2000 to 2013) there were an estimated 179 HIV/AIDs infections per 100,000 residents.
Syphilis is also on the rise which was surprising to some health officials who mistakenly believed that the disease was finally under control.
The nation’s capital is working hard to educate students and parents about the dangers of STDs, and the decreasing number of some sexually transmitted diseases is beginning to show that this initiative is working. City and school health officials are beginning to work together to help stress the importance of regular STD testing and how to practice safe sex, and officials at the Centers for Disease Control are hoping that this will help to get some of the higher statistics under control.
Not only are the school systems taking the time to educate students about the importance of regular STD testing, but teachers and health officials are highlighting some of the devastating effects of these preventable diseases. Students are shown some graphic images of how an STD can affect their body and lifestyle, along with simple methods on how it can be prevented.
Some residents point out that the city is leading the 50 states in the number of sexually transmitted diseases for the past several years stating that these programs are obviously not working, but health officials point to the falling statistics and simply stress the fact that until everyone is tested regularly there will always be a problem with STDs.
These educational programs have made it easier for students and parents to understand the importance of Herpes testing in Washington, DC and the declining number of new cases seems to show that this is working. It is just as important for regular HIV testing in Washington, DC, especially since this deadly disease often does not display any symptoms until it has turned into AIDS.
Demographics play a large role in the rising rate of STDs, and this is apparent in the nation’s capital. The District of Columbia has an ever changing population that includes visiting law makers and foreign dignitaries. This can make it difficult for the CDC to accurately gauge the number of STD infections, especially with many of the new diagnoses suspected of being in individuals from different states. While this does not lessen the importance of getting tested regularly, it does help show that the aggressive education programs are at least working among permanent residents.
Other factors contributing to the rise in STD rates also includes ethnicity and religion. Income also affects the number of sexually transmitted diseases, and this is apparent in the city’s traditionally poorer neighborhoods. A lack of clinics and health care workers to staff the facilities can make it difficult for residents to get tested regularly.
African American men and women are still at a higher risk of contracting an STD, and many health officials suggest that this might be due to stereotypes that still persist in the nation’s capital. Many men view regular testing as a sign of weakness, or simply believe that it can never happen to them. This is also true for teens and college age adults who often have the highest risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
In between visits to the monuments and museums scattered around the nation’s capitol it is also important to remember to take care of your sexual health, but the long lines at the city’s clinics has many residents searching for a better alternative. Now you can schedule confidential STD testing and avoid the long wait and the potential embarrassment of running into a friend or family member with one simple phone call and only spend 20 minutes at a local lab. This will still gives you plenty of time to catch a tour of the White House after you’ve taken this first important step in taking care of your sexual health.