“STD” refers to a condition in which an infection is passed from one person to another through sexual contact. STDs can affect men and women both. They happen because of bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, HPV, and HIV are a few common STDs. If you engage in sexual activity, it’s crucial to practice safe sex and obtain frequent STD test Los Angeles.
How common are STDs in Los Angeles
With the high incidence of some infections, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a significant public health concern in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) reports that over 67,000 STD infections were reported in 2019, a modest decline from 2018. Here’s some more information in detail on the prevalence of STDs in Los Angeles:
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD in Los Angeles, with over 46,000 cases reported in 2019. This represents a rate of 580 cases per 100,000 people, higher than the national rate of 539 cases per 100,000 people. Chlamydia is a bacterial infection. Antibiotics can help in its treatment. Still, if left untreated, it can lead to serious health complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, and chronic pelvic pain. Chlamydia is more common in women than men and those aged 15-24.
Gonorrhea is the second most common STD in Los Angeles, with over 13,000 cases in 2019. This amounts to 164 cases for every 100,000 individuals, which is higher than the average rate of 156 cases for every 100,000 persons in the country. Antibiotics can help in treating the bacterial infection known as gonorrhea. Not doing so can result in major health issues like PID, infertility, etc. Men and people in their 20s and 30s are more likely than women to experience gonorrhea.
Around 7,000 new cases of syphilis were recorded in Los Angeles in 2019. Cases have been on the rise recently. This amounts to an incidence rate of 89 per 100,000 individuals, more than double the national incidence rate of 36 cases per 100,000 people. A bacterial illness called syphilis can lead to blindness, dementia, and even death if not treated. Men who have sex with other men are more likely to develop syphilis, although cases among women and heterosexual men have also been rising recently.
Despite being less frequently reported in Los Angeles than other STDs, HIV is nevertheless a serious public health concern. Los Angeles County had more than 1,400 new HIV infections in 2019. HIV is an immune-system-attacking viral infection that, if untreated, can result in AIDS. Antiretroviral medication can control HIV, but there is no way to eradicate it. Men who have sex with other men are more likely to contract HIV.
Almost one in six persons in the United States has genital herpes. An estimated 16% of adults in Los Angeles have genital herpes.
Hepatitis B and C
Hepatitis B and C are viral illnesses that, if left untreated, can harm the liver and even result in liver cancer. Adults in Los Angeles have chronic hepatitis B at a rate of 3.4% and chronic hepatitis C at a rate of 0.5%. Although it can also be spread through other means, such as sexual contact, hepatitis B and C are more prevalent in drug users who inject narcotics.
Some additional points about STDs in Los Angeles
Differences in STD Rates
STD rates vary widely in Los Angeles, with some populations having greater infection rates than others. For instance, compared to other racial and ethnic groups, African Americans and Latinos had a greater incidence of chlamydia and gonorrhea. Compared to other populations, men who have intercourse with other men have greater incidences of syphilis, gonorrhea, and HIV.
Usage of condoms
Proper and consistent condom use can help stop the spread of STDs. Nevertheless, many people do not consistently or properly use condoms. Just 40% of young individuals in Los Angeles who participated in a survey said they had last used a condom.
Screening and Treatment
Regular STD tests in Los Angeles can help diagnose infections and stop future transmission, especially among high-risk populations. Antibiotics effectively treat many STDs, but patients must finish the entire course of medication to ensure the infection is completely cured.
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
To lower the risk of HIV transmission, PrEP is a drug that can be taken daily. You get PrEP in clinics around Los Angeles; many insurance policies pay the price.
People may be reluctant to get tested or seek treatment due to the stigma attached to STDs. It’s critical to reduce stigma and promote honest and open conversations about sexual health.
Promoting healthy sexual habits and halting the spread of STDs require education. To improve sexual health and prevent STDs, LACDPH offers outreach and education to schools, community organizations, and healthcare professionals.
STDs are a significant public health issue in Los Angeles, with high rates of certain infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Prevention efforts, including education, access to barrier methods such as condoms, and routine STD test in Los Angeles, are crucial in reducing the spread of STDs in Los Angeles.