The local city, state and county health officials take the health of the region seriously. Vital statistics are monitored to keep tabs on the general health of the citizens. STD testing results are analyzed to follow the rates and watch for trends and patterns that develop. All results are forwarded to the Center for Disease Control. The CDC maintains a national database for analyzing the overall health of the nation in detail. They have no interest in knowing specifically who has tested positive for an STD, but rather, the characteristics of the populations who do. This is so they can help to pinpoint who has the greatest risks based upon current trends. The following table gives the current figures for the numbers of persons who have tested positive for specific STDs per 100,000 in population.
Ordering STD testing is an easy process that doesn’t take much time or effort. Simply follow up with a trip to a local lab for testing. Your visit will be private and confidential and your results will arrive shortly.
- Chlamydia- 372.1
- Gonorrhea- 64.9
- Syphilis (primary and secondary)- 2.4
The Gonorrhea rates for the region are above average when compared with other localities. Chlamydia is the next area of concern with primary and secondary Syphilis coming in reasonably low, yet still a concern.
It is important to bear in mind that these numbers are only representative for populations who have already received STD testing. They do not take into account the persons at risk who have not had testing performed. Health officials believe that if everyone in need would get tested, these numbers would rise.
Pockets of poverty exist in the region and this does have an impact on the number of tests performed. Low income status prevents many from seeking health care that is needed. A second factor that lowers testing rates is a lack of information about the symptoms associated with STDs and unawareness of true risk. This increases the likelihood of the further spread of STDs by persons who are not even aware that they are infected. The rates for teenage STD infection is on the rise. Often, young people avoid voicing their concerns because of embarrassment or fear of punishment from parents or guardians. Some of these youth who understand their peril have a trusted family member assist them with getting testing and when needed, treatment.
Risk for STD infection is measured in degrees. The more risk factors you have, the higher your risk. These include having unprotected sex with a partner that is having sex with other people and having sex with multiple partners. Current trends and patterns show that women have twice the incidences of Chlamydia as men. Men have higher rates of Gonorrhea and Syphilis infections. Men who engage in male to male sex have a higher frequency of not only testing positive for HIV infection, but also other types of STD including Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis. Blacks have the highest rates nationally for all STD types, followed by Hispanics, then Native Alaskans/American Indians, then Whites and Asian. People who engage in sex with multiple partners increase their odds. The single risk factor which places any person of any ethnicity, sex, gender, age or socio-economic status is having unprotected sex. Anyone can get an STD. Your risk for getting an STD is dependent on your sexual behavior, if your current partner is having sex with other people and if you have been the victim of sexual assault.
Curbing the spread of STDs can only be accomplished when there is a greater understanding of safe sex practices and why they are important. When people begin to realize the risks to their health, and the need to follow up with STD testing and treatment will this epidemic begin to slow. Education that describes how to avoid getting an STD or unwanted pregnancy and information about where to go for STD testing is necessary. These strategies are already being employed, but sadly, they are not reaching everyone who needs the information. More still needs to be done to get the word out to everyone.
If any of this information has made you question your sexual health, then there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by getting tested for an STD. When left untreated, STD infections can interfere with your reproductive ability and they can even affect other areas of your health. Early detection and treatment is always better than waiting. There is no need to avoid testing because of embarrassment. Your privacy and confidentiality are strictly protected by federal law. Ordering the testing is very easy and it doesn’t take very long. After ordering, you have just one step left. Visit a local lab where you will be assisted by professional and friendly staff to finish the process. It should only take between fifteen to twenty minutes of your time. While you’re there, if you have any questions or concerns, you can ask the staff to get the answers that you need. Your results will be processed as quickly as possible and when you receive them you can take the appropriate action. You owe it to yourself to be one hundred percent certain.