Before touring the historic Wait Chapel or catching a thrilling race at Bowman Gray Stadium it is important to visit one of the STD clinics in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to be tested for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, C, Herpes, Syphilis and HIV. The number of reported sexually transmitted diseases is rising in Winston-Salem, NC and the shortage of free STD testing centers in the city is causing many residents to put off this important health screening. Now you can avoid the long lines and 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 catch a movie at the RiverRun International Film Festival.
Recently released statistics show that the city of Winston-Salem and surrounding Forsyth County are currently seeing an increase in the number of STDs reported each year, and this is causing health officials to question if residents are doing enough to protect themselves from contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
While some STDs did decrease between 2010 and 2012, recent data indicates that these diseases have been steadily increasing in the last few years. In the first few months of 2014 there were 3589 cases of STDs reported out of a population totaling 354,952. This has city health officials concerned that residents are not being tested regularly for a STD.
Statistics are also showing that age, race and gender are important factors in the city’s STD rates, with young adults and African American men in the highest risk groups. Young women between 20 to 29 years of age reported the highest rate of Chlamydia incidents, while a greater number of men tested positive for primary and secondary Syphilis in 2012.
Some of the other statistics that have health officials concerned include;
- There were 391 women diagnosed with Gonorrhea in 2012 and 320 men, with the majority of reported incidents occurring in African American residents.
- 2012 saw a total of 52 HIV/AIDS diagnoses with 65.4 percent of the cases occurring in males.
- African American men accounted for 76.7 percent of all Syphilis diagnoses in 2012, with the majority occurring in males between the ages of 20 to 29.
What really surprised health officials was the fact that statistics showed that heterosexual men tested positive for HIV/AIDS almost as often as homosexual males.
Sexual education programs in the school system are important for the health of students, and unfortunately the city of Winston-Salem does not offer these comprehensive classes. The public schools do follow the federal abstinence only curriculum, which many health officials have blamed on the high STD rates among teens and young adults.
While abstinence only classes do teach students that it is often best to wait to become sexually active, the growing number of teen pregnancies indicates that this approach is not always effective. Not only are more high school students giving birth before graduation, the number of those between the ages of 13 to 19 who test positive for an STD is also rising. Until students and parents understand the dangers associated with engaging in unprotected sex, city health officials fear that the rate of sexually transmitted diseases will continue to increase.
Without comprehensive sexual education classes many students are not aware that not all STDs are only transmitted through intercourse. Some viruses can be easily spread by casual contact, which is one of the reasons why Herpes is often found in area high schools. Regular Herpes testing in Winston-Salem can prevent the virus from spreading, and it can even help stop embarrassing flare-ups from appearing,
Regular HIV testing in Winston-Salem is also important, and the simple procedure can help save your life and that of those around you.
Demographics play an important role in a city’s STD rates, and this is certainly true in Winston-Salem. The city’s diverse population can make it difficult for health officials to reach all residents to inform them of the importance of regular STD testing.
The strong conservative values and religious beliefs often make it hard for students and even some adults to admit that they are sexually active, and many avoid regular STD testing out of shame and embarrassment. With the emphasis placed on abstinence, combined with a lack of comprehensive sexual education, many teens do not realize that they are putting themselves at risk.
Race and gender also play a role in the city’s high STD rates, along with income. Women often find it difficult to “say no”, especially teenage girls. The peer pressure teens and young adults feel to become sexually active often causes them to engage in intercourse before they are ready. Unprotected sex is the leading cause for the spread of STDs, and until the city has programs in place to teach residents about the dangers associated with this behavior health officials expect the number of reported sexually transmitted diseases to continue to rise.
The lack of community health centers in lower income neighborhoods, along with an inability to afford regular STD testing are also contributing to the problem, along with cultural stereotypes regarding certain sexually transmitted diseases. Until everyone realizes that regular testing is vital to continued good health, Winston-Salem and Forsyth County can expect its STD rates to continue to rise.
Before visiting the Bethabara Historic District it is important for residents to take a few minutes and take care of their sexual health. While there are community clinics the long lines and fear of running into a familiar face has many residents searching for a better option. Now you can easily schedule confidential STD testing with one quick phone call and only spend 20 minutes at the local lab, which still gives you plenty of time to catch a thrilling NASCAR race or football game at Bowman Gray Stadium.