West Des Moines, Iowa is the second largest city in Des Moines Metropolitan Area. Located within Polk County, state of Iowa, the city was listed in Money Magazine’s list of Best Places to live and launch in 2008, where it was ranked 94th. It was also listed in 2014 and 2015, where it was ranked 77th and 57th respectively. The city was formerly known as Valley Junction but changed its name to the current name in 1938. The population of the city according to the 2010 census was 56,609.
West Des Moines, IA has over years experienced exponential economic growth that has made it one of the main economic pillars of the whole state. The city boasts a number of attraction and recreational sites including Racoon River Park, Colby Park, Legion Park, Walnut Woods State Park among other fascinating areas. The city is also a home to some of the best Universities and colleges within the state including University of Phoenix, Drake University, Upper Iowa University, Des Moines Area Community College among others. With the existence of the above meeting and relaxing points and the growth of population over the years, STD infection in the city has been increasing rapidly.
Statistics reported is based on publicly available data sources such as CDC for Polk County, IA. Data is normalized to accurately report Polk County STD Breakdown.
Additional STD Test Statistics in West Des Moines, IA
The population of West Des Moines has been rapidly increasing over the years with the 2010 United States census showing a population of more than 56,000. With the changing world and mostly technology which has invented the use of social media platforms, human interactions have been eased. This has in turn escalated the rate of STD infections within the city.
Over the last five years, Des Moines has witnessed a rapid increase in Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and syphilis, and though controlled, HIV/AIDS infections are also severe. According to a CDC report that was released recently, most of the people who are infected by syphilis are also infected by HIV/AIDs. In terms of race, the African Americans are the most hard hit by these three diseases according to the CDC report. According to age, the sexually active age between 15-29 years of age account for more than 80% of the total infections within the city. With a research showing that more than 47% of the students in middle and high schools have had sex experience, the rates of STD infection are bound to increase even further.
Chlamydia is the most prevalent STD in West Des Moines. Its infection rate has been increasing over the last five years. The growth rate from 2014 to 2015 was 18%. Most of the infected are the Black Americans and Hispanics within the city. Though the disease does not discriminate who to infect in terms of age, The age between 15-24 years accounted for more than half of the total infections within the city. The rate of Chlamydia infection within the Polk County is greater than the rate of infection in the whole State as shown in the diagram below.
Gonorrhea is the second most prevalent STD in the city of West Des Moines. Its rate of infection within Polk County is greater than the State’s rate of infection. The youth between the age of 15-29 account for more than 70% of the total infections within the city and county. According to a 2014 research, men who have sex with other men were the most hit by Gonorrhea infections. The African Americans and Hispanics are the most infected by Gonorrhea within the city.
Syphilis is the third most common STD within West Des Moines. There has been growing fears over the rate of Syphilis increase within the city. The primary and secondary syphilis has been very common over the last five years with an increase of more than 22%. There has also been the resurgence of congenital syphilis within the city, which is transmissible from pregnant mother to an unborn child. There has been over 6 reported cases of congenital syphilis within the county in 2014. According to 2014 statistics, the three STDs rates of infection per 100,000 population in Polk County was:
STD Testing and Sexual Education in West Des Moines, IA
With the escalating rates of STD infection within the city, the health community is committed and has focused its efforts in controlling the spread of these diseases. The State and the Nation’s Health Departments have also collaborated with the city and county government to look into the STD infection solution. According to several researches done over the last five years, lack of sufficient sexual education has been the greatest contributing factor. The city has embarked on a mission to offer medically accurate and age appropriate sexual education to the locals.
The city of Des Moines has been over reliant on abstinence only policy over the last decade. This policy teaches middle and high school students that it’s only through complete abstinence from sex that would prevent STD infection and unwanted pregnancies. The delivery channel being through the school’s curriculum, most of the basic sexual information has not been given to the residents. The youth and the unmarried have been urged to abstain from sex and wait till marriage. This has not been very effective considering that more than 47% of the students according to a research have had sex while in their high school and middle school years.
Abstinence plus or comprehensive sexual education is another type of sex education where students are taught about sexuality on a wider scope including, condom usage, contraception methods, attributes of a healthy relationship and ways of evading sex adventures. Through a thorough comprehensive sex education, students will be able to make sound sex decisions. COnsidering this to be the best option the health community has, parent organizations and school stakeholders are pushing for its full and fast introduction in West Des Moines. The legislature are of the government is also considering passing abstinence plus laws that would allow it to be legitimately introduced in school’s curriculum.
Non government organization within the city are also fighting for the full adoption of comprehensive sexual education within the city. This would foster much understanding about family planning and ways of preventing STD infection. Universities and colleges have also organized youth groups to help sensitize the youth on the need for condom usage and other safe sex means to curtail the growth of STD infection.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Demographics in West Des Moines, IA
Though there exists numerous contributing factors to the increase of STDs, demographics has played a key role in the increase of sexually transmitted diseases in West Des Moines city. With the population of the city increasing rapidly over the last five years and estimated to be over the 63,000 mark in the next United States census, its distribution and characteristics greatly impacts the growth of STDs in the city.
The racial makeup of the city is one of the greatest factors that influence the growth of STDs. With the city having more than six races that include, whites, Asians, Hispanics, Blacks, Natives, among other races, there exists different cultures and practices. These cultures, practices and values have different beliefs in matters of sexuality. Some of the values of these races facilitate sexual interactions amongst individuals. This poses a great danger to the entire population of the city as most individuals are prone to infection.
Increased rates of social crimes amongst the residents of the city. The trend of rapes and prostitution within the city has been increasing over the last five years. In 2010 the rate of rapes per 100,000 population was 22; comparing to the following year’s rate of 26, it clearly shows an great increase in the number of reported rapes within the city. This increases the chances of STD infection within the city.
Lack of a well structured and planned sexual education program within the city. This is another aspect that has created a gap between what should be known and what is known about sex mostly amongst the youth. Some of the religions, organizations and parents in the city do not support the introduction of comprehensive sexual education. This is a loophole in the fight against STDs as many youths who are curious of exploring sex lack the right information about sex.
Existence of different religions within the city is another contributing factor to the increase of STDs within the city. Different religions have different teachings, some of these teachings necessitate sexual interactions. With the increased sexual interactions, many people are prone to infection. Though there are considerable number of demographical factors that influence the growth of STDs within Des Moines city, outreach programs are helping in sensitizing the locals and offering age appropriate and medically accurate information.
STI Testing Resources in West Des Moines, IA
With the increasing rates of STD infection in Des Moines, the county and state health department have devised for ways of curbing the outraging spread of STDs. Health centers across the whole city have been improved so as to accommodate a large number of the population. This is along with all urgent care centers, Parenthood Centers, and Public and Private health facilities.
VA Central Iowa Health Care System is one of the main public health facilities within Moines. This is a completely furnished and established health center with a renown reputation of offering quality health services to the locals. The facility offers appointment basis services which are time conscious. Equipped with the best medical practitioners, the facility offers personalized and confidential STD testing. Along with counselling and education on contraception, this facility handles their clients courteously. No delays for their appointments and they offer medically accurate STD diagnosis. West Des Moines health center is another public health center within the city that offers exemplary STD testing and screening services. Their services are appointment basis and time bound. Also they offer referral services upon client’s request.
UnityPoint Clinic is a private health center with several branches across the city. It offers time conscious, medically accurate and confidential STD testing services. Their services are appointment basis and are offered by specialists who are highly trained and qualified. No delay in their appointments and they handle their clients with great attention. Mercy Clinics Family Medicine is another private health center with several branches across the city. They offer private and confidential STD testing, counselling and treatment or management services. They offer client follow up services where they monitor the client’s condition even after leaving the health center. They offer accurate diagnosis and accept all forms of insurance covers.
The Iowa Clinic Urgent Care is another health care center within the city. It offers emergency walk in basis services to the locals regardless of race or religion. Their services are time conscious and extremely accurate and confidential. In the event of a crime they offer evidence by orders of court and the client’s consent. Mercy Clinics Urgent Care is another health center within Des Moines. It offers medically accurate, private and confidential STD testing services. They also offer referrals upon client’s request. Their services are walk in basis and attend to emergency cases very fast.
Susan Knapp Parenthood Center is a health facility that offers only appointment basis services to the locals. They offer both contraception and STD testing, counselling, treatment, and management services. Their services are time conscious, private and confidential. West Health Parenthood Center is another planned parenthood center in the city. It is known for its fast paced services that are accurate and confidential. They also offer contraception education and help with counselling services.
Better Sexual Health in West Des Moines, IA
The city of West Des Moines is one of the best cities to live in the United States. With a cool ambience for residence, it has attracted many people both domestically and internationally. This has led to influx of people in the city which has in turn increased the rates of STD infection within the city.
The increase in STDs in the city has forced the health department to consider policies that would reduce the rates of infection. They introduced abstinence only, which advocated for abstaining from sex till marriage. After several researches showed that more than 47% of middle school students have had sex experiences, and the rates of Gonorrhea and chlamydia going through the roof, the health department is now fighting tooth and nail for the introduction of comprehensive sexual education. Outreach programs are also helping in educating the locals on the need for comprehensive sexual education.
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