The Issue Of Std’S And Hiv’S In South Florida

South Florida is number 1 in the nation for the transmission of STD’s and HIV’s, and its rates could be growing. In the government run website for ‘Florida Health,’ it is said that there are 100,000 plus cases of Chlamydia, 30,000 cases of gonorrhea, and 5,000 cases of syphilis in South Florida alone. Due to the epidemic of STD’s and HIV’s in South Florida, free-testing specifically for men in gay relationships and pregnant women should be implemented into the healthcare clinical programs, testing facilities should be opened and placed in more low-income areas for easy accessibility and transportation, and the costs of STD and HIV preventive items should be lowered so as to fix the issue of STD’s and HIV’s in South Florida.

Amongst the issues that face South Florida, the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV’s because of South Florida’s high-risk behaviors are one. High-risk sexual behaviors that contribute to the rates of sexually transmitted diseases may be unprotected intercourse, sexual intercourse at a young age, having multiple sex partners, having a high-risk partner, and injecting drugs or having a partner that does as state in the ‘High-Risk Sexual Behavior’ column of “British Columbia: HealthLinkBC. ” Healthcare needs to become involved in this issue by giving out free testing and screenings for the diseases. Doing so would help low-income neighborhoods, who tend to be the most affected community by sexually transmitted diseases reach out for help.

As mentioned on “My Lab Box” by Scott Meany, on average, an STD test will cost approximately $180 which might be a substantial amount of money for low-income neighborhoods. Giving out free screenings and tests for the disease will lower its rates, due to there being more availability to low-income people. Similarly, STD’s and HIV’s aren’t broadly talked about in South Florida because of how negatively stigmatized they are. According to “America’s Sex Education: How We Are Failing Our Students” by University of South California’s nursing staff, “People ages 15 to 24 only make up to 25 percent of the American population, but they [account] for 50 percent of all the STDs reported in 2013,” and this could be caused by the lack of sexual education and conversation amongst the topic of STD’s in the United States. Due to sexually transmitted diseases being so negatively stigmatized in society, more conversations need to be brought to light about the topic which would increase awareness on to the transmission of the disease, hence lowering the rates in South Florida.

In the article “Individual and community risk factors and sexually transmitted diseases among arrested youth: a two level analysis. ” Dembo R, et al. , goes into detail about the high rates of sexually transmitted diseases that “have been noted among youths involved in the juvenile justice system. ” In this article, it is stated that “those with untreated STDs are three to five times more likely to contract HIV. ” In the county of Miami-Dade alone, the rates of syphilis and chlamydia have doubled since the year 2006; showing a drastic change in the rates of sexually transmitted diseases in Florida. Prevention efforts for STD’s have focused in part on the identification of factors that place individuals at a particularly high risk for HIV and STD transmission. It is as well stated that “There were 400 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 residents in 2013. In 2006, there were 200. Syphilis has similarly increased, jumping from 8. 4 cases per 100,000 to over 16 in the same seven years, according to the health department numbers,” which proves to show the severity that this issue partakes in South Florida.

Regarding the epidemic of STD’s in South Florida, it has been estimated that 1/4th of adolescents and young adults in high-risk age groups for STDs do not have health care coverage, and this is only one out of the many factors that contribute to the STD’s epidemic In South Florida. As well Only 11 percent of teenagers surveyed reported getting most of their information regarding STDs from their parents or other family members. Among prime-time network television shows, there is only 1 portrayal of protective behavior or comment regarding STDs for every 25 instances of sexual behavior shown. All of these are issues that are adding onto the hidden epidemic of STD’S, which is why something has to be done In order to target and eliminate every one of these contributing factors in order to lower the STD and HIV/AID rate in South Florida. If not, the transmission rates will continue to rise due to unawareness, unprotected sex (among other ways that you can catch the disease), safety issues, and societal negation.

It has been recorded that up to nearly 70 percent of students in the twelfth grade have had sexual intercourse and 27 percent of twelfth-grade students have had sex with four or more partners. Knowledge and awareness of STDs among the public is poor meaning that almost two-thirds of women 18-60 years of age surveyed knew nothing or very little about STDs other than AIDS. Health insurance coverage enables individuals to obtain professional assistance in order to prevent potential exposures to sexually transmitted infections and to seek care for suspected STDs.

Uninsured persons delay seeking care for health problems longer than those who have private insurance or Medicaid coverage. Those with private health insurance who are living at or near poverty level have limited access to health care because of copayments and deductibles that are typically part of private insurance coverage. Medicaid coverage is often less effective than private health insurance coverage since many physicians refuse to treat Medicaid beneficiaries, thereby restricting access to comprehensive health services. In order to get rid of the STD’s epidemic, we need to open up our services to the public so that people can safely and non-judgmentally get tested. It should be made known to the public when to get tested and where. As well transportation is made into a huge issue for those who want to get tested but can’t because of transportation and availability issues.

31 October 2020
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