Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) affect millions of Americans each year and lead to major health complications for adults. But did you know that STDs impact different groups of people differently?
In our last blog (link to blog #1), we discussed some of the key differences between men and women about STD risks and potential symptoms. However, a person’s racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic characteristics may indicate a higher potential risk for STDs.
The reasons for these risks likely stems from certain geographic region and demographic groups having a lack of healthcare access, STD prevention education, or societal factors that stigmatize STD prevention.
So what groups of people are the most impacted by STDs and some of the risk factors for them? We’ll cover some of the leading statistics captured by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and go into further detail in this blog:
STDs disproportionately affect African Americans than other ethnic groups, why though?
The World Health Organization explains that social determinants of health are some of the key factors in why certain racial groups face increased health and STD risks. These determinants are based on societal, economic, and geographic advantages or disadvantages of certain people. Racial groups with historically more medical access and advantages than other groups are less likely to have general healthcare risks.
These social determinants play a role in sexual health and STD risks as well. According to the CDC, key racial groups in the U.S have the following healthcare risks:
- African Americans account for 55.4 percent of all cases of gonorrhea.
- Hispanic men had a 2.1x higher rate of contracting chlamydia than white men.
- Asians had the lowest rates of STDs than all other ethnic groups: For example, Asian men and women had cases of gonorrhea that were 0.8 and 0.4 percent that of white men and women, respectively.
- Caucasian adults experienced a 20.2 percent increase in the number of chlamydia cases between 2013 and 2017.
Even though the statistics show that some groups have unique STD risks over others, just about every adult in the U.S is at risk for a serious STD.
Adults with certain risky sexual behaviors have major risks of contracting an STD.
High-risk sexual behaviors significantly increase your chance of an STD
Depending upon your lifestyle, you may have a higher risk of STD infection based on your sexual behaviors.
The number of sexual partners, methods of sexual intercourse, and use of protection affect your STD risks in the following ways:
- Unprotected vaginal, anal, and oral sex: Unprotected sex in multiple sexual encounters will likely increase your risk of contracting an STD. Condoms are primarily for prophylactic and birth control, but they are effective in reducing contact with bodily fluids that transmit STDs.
- Multiple sexual partners: Individuals that have multiple sexual partners over a short period of time are more likely to have an STD than monogamous adults. These risks are heightened with more unstable sexual behavior such as unprotected sex and having sex while under the influence of drugs.
- Sexual Encounters from Alcohol or Drug Abuse: Drug or alcohol-induced sexual behavior can lead to poorer decision making and riskier sexual behaviors. Additionally, injection or certain drugs can potentially lead to HIV if needles are shared with an infected individual.
- Earlier adulthood sexual encounters: Adults 25 and younger are more likely to contract an STD than older adults. This is likely because younger individuals are engaging in more frequent sexual activity with new partners. In addition, younger individuals are more likely to experiment with drugs, alcohol, and sexual situations.
- Having other existing STDs: Patients that have one STD already are likely to contract another as well. STDs can sometimes develop into other conditions and expose the host to more diseases. If a patient has an STD, then they’ll want to increase their usual screening activity.
Patients with high STD risks can trust their local AFC Urgent Care Denver clinic for screening needs!
Thankfully, patients around the greater Denver area don’t have to worry too much about getting necessary STD testing services.
This is because AFC Urgent Care Denver has four locations across the city to provide you with discreet, fast, and convenient STD screenings. We’re also open at convenient hours on weekdays as well as weekends to help get your screenings whenever you need them.
Live near the Denver Speer area? What about the Cherry Creek neighborhood? Or even on the other sides of town closer to Denver Highlands or East? No problem. We’re also located in all four of these areas.
STD screenings are increasingly important to stay on top of your sexual health and for maintaining your overall health. If you’re in Denver you’ll never need to wait for your doctor or a nearby ER to perform these tests. AFC Denver is here for you.
Additionally, we provide a comprehensive STD screening package for only $299 for uninsured individuals. Normally, this package could cost patients upwards of $700 at other medical facilities. The package tests and screens for:
- RPR (Syphilis)
- Hepatitis B Antigen
- Hepatitis B Antibody
- Hepatits C
- Herpes (HSV)
Check out our locations or schedule an appointment below!