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Individuals from poor neighborhoods may need a chlamydia test
Date: 2013-05-29 16:52:36

It's important for people to understand that no matter where they are from or what their financial situation may be, they are at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. However, people from certain areas may be in more need of STD testing services than others, since some parts of the U.S. tend to have a higher rate of these infections and viruses than others. For example, researchers from Ohio State University recently determined that individuals who grew up in poor areas - even if they were not poor themselves - may have a high risk of contracting an STD.

The scientists found that people who lived in a poor area as a teenager may have an increased risk of getting chlamydia in their 20s, compared to those from more affluent areas. This was regardless of whether the people grew up in poor households.

Problem lies in neighborhoods... Full Story

Should we be concerned about the new strain of gonorrhea?
Date: 2013-05-27 22:51:06

No one wants to contract any sexually transmitted diseases, since most of them can seriously impact a person's life if left untreated. This is why everyone needs to utilize STD testing services to make sure that they do not have one. While all STDs are dangerous, some are worse than others. For example, HIV can claim a person's life in a few years if not treated, and there has also been talk in the healthcare community in the past year about a super-strain of gonorrhea that is not responding to antibiotics.

Recently, the Boston Globe published an article discussing this strain - what people need to know about it, and what to do to keep from contracting it.

Closer than you think... Full Story

Stigma gets in the way of HIV testing in Navajo populations
Date: 2013-05-21 18:54:48

Sometimes, the stigma surrounding sexually transmitted diseases may keep people from utilizing STD testing services. This is why people need to know that there are ways they can get tested that are confidential, without ever having to step foot in their local doctor's office. This may be particularly important for people living on the Navajo Indian reservation in New Mexico, since researchers claim that HIV numbers are up in the area, and social stigma may be keeping residents from getting tested.

According to The New York Times, a report released in April by the federal Indian Health Service discovered 47 new cases of HIV in 2012, which is a 20 percent increase from 2011. This lead to health officials discovering that, since 1999, there has been a five-fold increase in HIV cases on the reservation.

An alarming trend... Full Story

Orange Country residents need to understand the importance of STD testing
Date: 2013-05-20 16:17:53

Efforts to reduce sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. are only effective if people are aware of them. This is why community leaders and healthcare workers are often working to spread awareness of the importance of practicing safe sex and utilizing STD testing services. For example, the Orlando Sentinel, a Florida news source, recently published an article explaining why STD testing is important for people in all parts of the state, but particularly those living in Orange County.

According to the news source, in 2010, there were more than 8,000 Orange County residents diagnosed with new STDs, which a higher rate than Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, Palm Beach and other major counties across Florida. Furthermore, the Sentinel reported that it's likely that these numbers will increase, rather than tamper off.

Serious consequences... Full Story

Some demographics are more hesitant about the HPV vaccine than others
Date: 2013-05-15 12:22:36

Efforts to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and encourage people to utilize STD testing services are only effective if people educate themselves and are proactive about fighting back against these infections. For example, in the past few years, scientists have developed a vaccine to protect young people - particularly women - from contracting the human papillomavirus, but many parents have been hesitant about allowing their children to get this shot.

Recently, Boston University School of Medicine researchers set out to explore parents' concerns and determine which demographics are most or least likely to get their children vaccinated.

"Approximately 33,000 Americans will get an HPV-related cancer each year, many of which can be prevented by vaccination," said the lead author Rebecca Perkins, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology at BUSM. "Solid communication between parents and providers is the key to improving HPV vaccination rates, which is what this study seeks to measure."

Discrepancies are clear... Full Story

Young people need to understand the consequences of STDs
Date: 2013-05-13 12:48:47

When it comes to sexually transmitted diseases, it's important for everyone to research how to prevent and treat these infections and viruses. However, young people, in particular, should be utilizing STD testing services - and taking it very seriously if they discover they have one. For example, KJCT 8, a Colorado news source, recently reported that it's not enough for young people to get tested for STDs - they also need to receive proper treatment if they are diagnosed with one or they may face some serious consequences.

The news source spoke to healthcare officials in the state who said that, in the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of young people with STDs, and they are hoping to curb this concerning trend.

Needing to be more careful... Full Story

Michigan residents may need better access to STD testing
Date: 2013-05-09 15:18:38

Some people may think that if they need to tested for sexually transmitted diseases, they have to go to the doctor, but they may be wrong. In reality, STD testing services can be acquired in a number of different, confidential ways, without having to make a doctor's visit. Recently, MLive published an article explaining that there is insufficient access to and use of STD testing in many counties across Michigan, suggesting that residents in the state may be unaware of their screening options.

The news source reported on data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which ranked counties across the U.S. on a number of health measures, such as smoking and alcohol use as well as access to healthcare professionals. According to MLive, the disparities in STD rates across counties were shocking.

Major differences... Full Story

Teens aren't as influenced by sex in the media as previously thought
Date: 2013-05-08 11:58:22

In order to curb sexually transmitted disease rates among young people and encourage them to use STD testing services, healthcare officials need to understand what influences sexual behavior in this population. As the Internet has grown in popularity during the past two decades, many parents, teachers and politicians alike have expressed concerns that viewing sexually explicit materials on the web and in magazines may be directly causing young individuals to engage in sexual behavior at an early age. However, recent research suggests that may not be true.

According to researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, this material may have some impact on youth sexual behavior, it is a very small one.

Not a major influence... Full Story

Will Facebook pages help curb STD rates?
Date: 2013-05-06 16:08:36

Health officials have been working for years to determine the best way to encourage young people to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases, but it continues to be a struggle. Getting individuals under the age of 25 to utilize STD testing services and practice safer sex or abstinence has been a major goal in the healthcare community for years, since these individuals are responsible for half of all new STD infections each year. Recently, there has been a great deal of discussion about having more STD prevention efforts online, since young people seem to spend more time than ever on the Internet.

For example, The Journal Gazette, an Indiana news source, recently reported that the local health department has been crafting pages on Facebook that are designed to spread awareness of STDs among young people.

Information is key... Full Story

Guidelines for HIV testing change
Date: 2013-05-03 14:06:45

As with most conditions, HIV is most easily treated when it is caught in the early stages. This is why it is so important for people to regularly use STD testing services and get screened for HIV and other viruses and infections. Recently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force finalized its guidelines for HIV testing, and declared that all individuals between the ages of 15 and 65 should be screened for this virus at least once.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the recommendation was made to address the fact that people respond best to HIV treatments the earlier they receive them, but this condition has almost no symptoms in the beginning. Due to the lack of early HIV symptoms, it's necessary for people to get tested regularly even if they do not feel ill.

"HIV is a critical public health problem, and there are still 50,000 new infections per year," said Doug Owens, M.D., a task force member and professor of medicine at Stanford University, told the L.A. Times. "There's very good evidence that treatment is effective when given earlier, at a time when people are often asymptomatic. So the only way they would know that they had HIV, or that they needed treatment, is to be screened."

Evidence for screening... Full Story

Women care more about STD prevention than avoiding cervical cancer
Date: 2013-05-02 15:25:29

Over the years, scientists have developed condoms and vaccines to help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, as well as STD testing services that allow people to know their status. However, these testing and prevention methods are only effective if people choose to use them. Unfortunately, research continues to show that many people do not use condoms, and even fewer have been receiving the vaccine that helps protect against the human papillomavirus.

HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can potentially cause cervical cancer. While there is now a vaccine that helps prevent strains of this virus, healthcare professionals have had trouble encouraging young women to get it. Recently, researchers from Ohio State University discovered that when doctors are discussing the benefits of the vaccine to women, they should focus on STD prevention, rather than the fact that the shot may help them avoid developing cancer.

Against the grain... Full Story

Bill Gates calls for the creation of a better condom
Date: 2013-05-01 12:17:32

There are only two ways that people can reduce their chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease - they can practice abstinence or use a condom during sex. Unfortunately, many people do not use condoms, and when these individuals utilize STD testing services, they may discover that they have an infection or virus. In an effort to increase condom use worldwide, Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates is offering $100,000 to anyone who has a feasible plan for creating a condom that enhances sexual pleasure, rather than diminishing it.

The Atlantic recently reported on Gates' offer and the motivations behind it. According to the news source, most people who do not use condoms say that it is because these contraceptives make sex less pleasurable. The Atlantic explained that research has shown that only 60 percent of sexually active U.S. teenagers report using condoms, and that number actually declines as people get older.

A worldwide issue... Full Story

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