FOUR WAYS TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF STDS
STDs are a major problem in our community. Just take a look at the Ohio Department of Health STD Surveillance Program. With STDs often being preventable, this causes concern.
Common STDs by the Numbers
The STD Surveillance Program monitors three STDs and their stats throughout the state of Ohio: Gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. Here’s how the numbers played out from 2011-2015:
82,616 total cases of gonorrhea
270,522 total cases of chlamydia
5,776 total cases of syphilis
For all three diseases, the rate at which minority populations were affected was over half of the total population. For example, of the 5,776 cases of syphilis, 3,697 impacted minority groups. Individuals diagnosed with STDs during this time period were primarily between the ages of 15 and 29, and were African American.
In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention founds that the gonorrhea rate among Hispanics was 1.9 times the rate among whites; the chlamydia rate among Hispanics was 2.1 times the rate among whites; and the syphilis rate among Hispanics was 2.2 times the rate of whites.
Educating At-Risk Populations
Some of the reasons STDs keep spreading is a lack of knowledge, limited access to healthcare, and the fear of parents finding out (if the individual is a teen).
Young people tend to believe they are invincible or that it “won’t happen to me”. Many people don’t know they have a STD, which increases their risk of spreading it to other people.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the spread of STDs in our community.
- Understand the signs and symptoms of STDs so you can identify them when you meet a partner.
- Talk to your partner about getting tested regularly and know your status.
- Limit the amount of sexual partners you have.
- Always use protection.
When talking to your partner, suggest you both get tested before becoming sexually active. There are many convenient STD and HIV testing sites throughout the community, including the NHA program.
To schedule an appointment for testing, please call 419.255.7883.