For the past twenty years STD rates in this sunny Florida city have been steadily climbing, and are now some of the highest in the state. This does include HIV/AIDS rates which are actually above state averages, according to recent statistics released by the county health department.
When the statistics are compared over the last two decades health officials can see where the city’s averages began to even out, and in some cases decline, before steadily rising to their current high numbers. While there are several reasons for the decline and rise of reported STD cases, one constant fact remains that it is important to be tested regularly for all sexually transmitted diseases.
Gonorrhea and Chlamydia rates have been rising especially among young adults in recent years, and the number of cases of primary and secondary Syphilis have been increasing as well. This is particularly alarming to health officials since this STD was thought to be declining in frequency. In 2014 it was estimated that 404.4 out of every 100,000 residents was infected with Chlamydia, Gonorrhea or infectious Syphilis. Some of the other statistics that emphasize the importance of regular testing include,
- From 1993 to 2014 the number of reported cases of Syphilis, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia doubled.
- Between 2012 and 2014 the state reported 307,804 incidents for STDs compared to the county’s 16,383.
- Palm Beach County saw STD rates rise 30 percent from 2009 to 2014.
- HIV rates increased 22 percent across the state from 2012 to 2015 with the majority occurring in the surrounding county.
As several other states start requiring their public school districts to include current and medically accurate information in the sex education programs, the state of Florida still does not have any set guidelines for educators to use. This means students in West Palm Beach still are not getting the information they need to really understand the dangers associated with sexually transmitted diseases.
The city does require its public schools to provide students with medically accurate information regarding HIV/AIDS, and abstinence is promoted as an effective method of preventing pregnancy and STDs, the fact that the disease rate is still rising indicates that this approach is not working.
Not only are Chlamydia and Gonorrhea rates up in teens and young adults, the number of students that test positive for Herpes and HPV have also increased. While Herpes has been a common problem in high schools for years, the sudden increase in HPV incidents is relatively new. While some law makers are trying to make it mandatory for all public schools to provide comprehensive sexual education classes the fact remains that in the meantime STD rates continue to rise.
Without these classes many students do not realize that regular Herpes testing in West Palm Beach is the best way to stop the spread of this virus. This is also true regarding AIDS and regular HIV testing in West Palm Beach is still the only reliable method to determine if you are infected.
West Palm Beach is a thriving cosmopolitan city with an active nightlife and beautiful beaches that draws tourists in. While this is beneficial for the city’s economy, the influx of visitors each year also makes it easier for residents to contract a sexually transmitted disease.
While tourists are contributing to the problem, there are other demographical factors as well that are causing the city’s STD rates to rise close to state levels. One of the main causes is the lack of education, especially regarding how sexually transmitted diseases are spread. If residents do not even realize that they are at risk, it is impossible for them to protect themselves.
A sudden increase in the popularity of dating apps is also being blamed for the steady rise in STD rates, especially among older residents. These apps can make it easier for adults to meet, and many simply do not think about their chances of contracting a STI. Similar apps are also being used by teens and young adults just looking to “hook-up”, and in most cases they are not using protection.
Health officials have also noticed that the younger generations are no longer afraid of contracting HIV/AIDS and the other sexually transmitted viruses. Most of them are under the impression that a simple pill will keep the disease and its symptoms under control. While this might be true for a while, eventually the virus will become untreatable. Until everyone realizes the dangerous associated with sexually transmitted infections, the city will continue to have one of the highest rates in the state.
You can still enjoy yourself in West Palm Beach and take care of your sexual health, simply by taking the time to get tested for STDs on a regular basis. We understand that you would rather spend your time in the sun or shopping at one of the city’s fabulous boutiques, but it can be hard to enjoy yourself if you are worried about your sexual health. You can skip the long lines at the clinic simply by calling to schedule confidential STD testing, and you will only have to spend a few minutes at the lab. This way you can relax knowing that you are taking responsibility for your sexual health, and enjoy the rest of your day in the city.