This region is considered to be a great choice for raising a family with safe and friendly communities as well as its share of the less favorable areas. One concern that plagues the city is the number of STD cases which have been reported. Gonorrhea, HIV, Hepatitis B and C, Chlamydia and Syphilis numbers are rising. The local health department and the Center for Disease Control are aware of this situation and have been watching the statistics over the past decade.
STD testing in the area is not as high as it should be. Because of the rates, there should be more concern among the public. One of the reasons that there is not is simply because of a lack of awareness of the potential threat to sexual health. More people need to know how easy ordering the testing is and that it only takes a trip to a local lab for completion and to get results on their way. STD testing clinics are available and for those who cannot afford testing fees, there are free testing centers that provide services with zero or reduced costs.
STD testing reports are helpful in tracking the numbers of cases in the area as well as for helping to identify who may be at the most risk for getting an STD. Information is sent to the CDC for inclusion in a nationwide database of facts and figures about STDs. No names or other information that could be used to identify an individual is used so your testing is completely confidential.
The information listed in the chart below shows the current rates for STD infections per 100,000 people in this area.
- Chlamydia- 911.3
- Gonorrhea- 74.7
- Syphilis (Primary and Secondary)- 11.0
While the rates for all types of Syphilis are fairly low, the figures for Chlamydia are more than twice as high as they are in comparable metro areas around the country. People who are being diagnosed with this STD the most often are women with double the rates than those of men, and those in the 20 to 24 and 15 to 19 year age groups. This is an alarming rate to say the least and it has caused enough concern to illicit a response to take action to increase education and prevention in the local communities.
There is always risk of becoming infected with an STD when you engage in unprotected sex. Other factors combine to increase risk. These include having more than one sexual partner, having sex with someone who has sex with others and engaging in these behaviors in an area that has high rates for certain STDs.
The data shows that with regard to ethnicity, Blacks have the highest rates followed by Alaskan Natives/American Indians, Hispanics, and Whites in this order of frequency. The average age is between 20 and 24 for most STDs and with the exception of Chlamydia, men test positive more often than women.
Health department officials are convinced that the numbers based upon actual testing completed are only a part of the big picture regarding the issue of STD epidemic potential. Many people who are at risk are not being tested. This could be in part by a lack of knowledge about their risk, the signs of an STD or the resources that are available to them within their own communities. It is believed that if all persons at risk would get tested, the numbers would increase dramatically. There is a likelihood that the trends would remain the same for risk factors such as sex and age related factors.
Preserving your sexual health involves taking a few precautions. Refusing to have unprotected sex is the first step. Using condoms can help to reduce the odds of getting an STD, but it is not a one hundred percent guarantee. It is important to be selective about who you have sex with. Having multiple partners increases the odds that you will become infected. Perhaps the most important precaution that you can take is to get STD testing if you are at any risk whatsoever. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, you could still have an STD. Not all of these diseases present themselves with symptoms in the early stages.
Have you had sexual relations with a person without using protection? Does your partner have other partners? Do you have multiple partners? Have you noticed any unusual signs or symptoms that could relate to your sexual health? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you at least have some factors for risk for an STD.
The process is simple, easy and fast. First, order your STD testing. you’ll find that it’s a breeze. The next step is to make a trip to a nearby lab where qualified and professional lab technicians will assist you in completing the testing process. They can answer questions if you have them. Your privacy is protected so there is no need for concern. By doing this you are taking an important step in protecting not only your sexual health, but your overall general health as well. Very shortly you’ll have your results and you can enjoy a greater peace of mind in knowing.