The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releases an annual report disclosing the status of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. The 2015 Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report showed that the U.S. currently has a record number of cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
Most of these cases were among young adults and teenagers. Over half of all gonorrhea and chlamydia cases were found in those under 25 years of age.
As the health industry’s ability to combat STDs is highly dependent on funding from the state level, as well as state and local legislation, the availability of confidential STD testing centers has been cut. A number of STD testing clinics have been shut down due to budget cuts. More than 20 health departments have reported a need to close their STD testing centers since 2012.
While there still are walk in health clinics that perform STD testing, their hours have been significantly decreased as well, often discouraging many from seeking testing and treatment services.
Untreated STDs have serious long-term consequences, including infertility, chronic pain, decreased immune strength, other infections, and even death in some circumstances.
While the CDC and the federal government are able to collaborate and help fund state and local treatment and testing centers, the last time the budget for these neighborhood health clinics was increased was 2003.
Awareness and education has been proven as the most effective method of STD prevention. However, public schools are not required to teach sex education or provide the necessary information regarding sexual health.
Emphasis on safe sex, condom usage, as well as the benefits of mutual monogamy are vital for school health education in order to provide adolescents with necessary information regarding their own bodies and sexual health.
As the population increases, it becomes increasingly harder to offer reactive services instead of proactive services. Health clinics are experiencing a shortage of health professionals, and sexual health often takes a back seat. In order to have a sufficient number of physicians to treat U.S. healthcare needs, there will need to be an additional 52,000 primary care physicians by 2025.
Luckily, your local urgent care can provide the same services as STD testing centers.
If you are sexually active, are overdue for a pelvic exam, are seeking STD testing, or simply want more information regarding sexual health, AFC/Doctors Express – Denver can help you receive the care you need. Contact our office today.