Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Miami Dade County
Nationally, it is reported that the cases of Sexually Transmitted Diseases are on the rise with medical practitioners pointing that the rate is alarming. CDC is reporting the incidence of the diseases has steadily risen between 2006 and 2014. It is asserted that in 2014, United States had approximately 1.4 million of the population exhibiting chlamydia, around 350,062 reported cases of gonorrhea and 19,999 reported cases of syphilis (Eckstrand and Ehrenfeld, 2016).
It is asserted that Sexually Transmitted Diseases continue to affect the younger generation with women affected the most, though men have also contributed to the rising cases across all the three diseases. With the rising cases in America, medical experts have acknowledged that this is a clear call for improved diagnosis, treatment and prevention as the diseases affects all sections of the population specifically young women and men.
Similarly, in Miami Dade County cases of chlamydia and syphilis have almost folded in the last seven years, causing worry and estimation about the increase (Eckstrand and Ehrenfeld, 2016). According to statistics provided by the Florida department of health, the rates of chlamydia and syphilis in Miami-Dade have nearly doubled since 2006. According to Alex Moreno, a clinical program manager at the University of Miami miller school of medicine, the rise in the diseases is exhibiting a trend of unsettling and unnoticeable.
Statistically, there were 400 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 residents in 2013 yet in 2006 the cases were 200 (Eckstrand and Ehrenfeld, 2016). It has been established that the rate of Syphilis also had a considerable increase from 8.4 cases per 100,000 to over 16 in the same duration. Health division has confirmed that Chlamydia for instance, can cause infertility while Syphilis causes sores and rashes and may lead to paralysis and, ultimately, if unattended, even demise. It is important to note that Miami-Dade County has a slightly lower rate of chlamydia than the state as a whole, but a higher rate of syphilis (Skolnik et al, 2013).
Research conducted has proven that the younger generation has exhibited increased chances of contacting STDs; the assertion is supported by the fact that since 2009 an increase of 5 percent chances of contacting the diseases has been realized in the case of those between 25 and 34 age range. According to CDC, Chlamydia has been in the forefront in pushing the number up; currently 70 percent of all reported cases of chlamydia are among the population ages of between 15 and 24 and moreover, it has been opined that the increase in syphilis nationally is driven by men (CDC, 2016).
Due to the increase in the cases of infections, many people have speculated about the cause with some section of the populace pointing out that it is due to lack of understanding about the diseases and an increasingly immoral culture. Isa Chinea an operations manager at the Florida health department has attested that in Miami Dade most people do not use protection during sex, according to her both chlamydia and syphilis can be spread by unprotected vaginal, anal and oral sex yet nobody is ready to be tested.
It is believed that education can reduce the prevalence rate of STDs; Moreno a medical practitioner in the county has suggested that abstinence from sexual activity outside marriage should be taught to all school-age students. It has been established that Miami-Dade school system has assumed a more inclusive health education prospectus, however, health education in Miami-Dade imparts knowledge on the importance of abstinence, and it also shares techniques of safe sex for those who choose to be sexually active and has a policy of inclusiveness for all sexualities. The health department has blamed a more productive hook-up culture as a major catalyst to the increasing case; this may lead to a higher frequency of sexual activity with unfamiliar partners. This is the reason why both the Florida Health Department and Miami-Dade educational institutions are working to lessen the number of STDs in the community through expansion of testing sites (CDC, 2016).
According to Pache, medical personnel in the county, Miami-Dade school system is helping develop an electronic application for computers and mobile phones that will allow students to find testing locations. Lori Jordahl, medical consultant has affirmed that such like efforts have the possibility of increasing the number of people tested each year in Miami-Dade and that the health department official would continue to fight STDs in the county.
How Sexually Transmitted Diseases affect the community
On a broader scope, it has been discovered that STDs affect people of all racial, cultural, socioeconomic, and religious groups in the United States. It is asserted that people in all states, communities and social networks are at risks of contacting the diseases. It is asserted that the population in Miami-Dade County is largely unaware of the health consequences of STDs because many of the incidences of the diseases are often asymptomatic and thus go undetected. It is believed that main health problems, such as infertility, cancer, and other chronic diseases, occur years after the preliminary infection, so that there is absence of consciousness of any connection to the root cause (CDC, 2016). Health experts have also established that the shame linked with having an STD has reserved public debate and health education regarding the effects of STDs in communities and frequently even precludes clinicians from educating their patients.
It has been discovered that STDs cause certain types of cancer to the community; it is a fact that certain types of sexually acquired human papillomavirus are now considered to be a cause of most cancers of the cervix, vagina, vulva, anus, and penis. CDC has pointed out that Hepatitis B virus, which is usually transmitted either by sexual contact or by intravenous drug use among adults in the United States, is a cause of hepatocellular carcinoma, one of the world’s most common forms of cancer. Health professionals have alleged that both biological and epidemiological data suggest that human papillomavirus is a dominant etiologic factor for cervical cancer (Houser, 2015).
Moreover, studies have showed that cervical infection with oncogenic types of human papillomavirus is linked with at least eighty percent of aggressive cervical cancer cases and that women with human papillomavirus infection of the cervix are ten times more likely to develop offensive cervical cancer likened to women deprived of human papillomavirus infection. It has been asserted that the burden that cervical cancer has on the community is huge, this is because it strains the economical status of the population. Instances of loss of productivity has been discovered as some people become sick to the point of not being able to go to work or engage in any income generating activity. Households’ spending on education is reduced as much is spent on treatment and chemotherapy; this has greatly affected the education standards in the community.
As pointed out earlier, STDs affect the economic status of the community. It is opined that limited resources and current competing health care needs, however, are forcing consideration of the economic consequences of STDs as a pivotal criterion for determining the relative urgency of this problem (Houser, 2015). Experts have established that the economic burden of STDs is associated with both direct and indirect cost where direct costs refer to expenditures for health care and represent the value of goods and services that actually were used to treat STDs (Houser, 2015). They include expenditures for medical services and associated materials like procuring services of medical professionals, laboratory services and costs of hospitalization. On the other hand, indirect expenses refer to lost productivity and represent the value of output forgone by individuals with STDs and associated disability, for instance, lost wages due to inability to work and premature deaths. It is asserted that this has impacted on the community negatively by affecting the living conditions and wellbeing of the population.
How the conditions were identified
It is believed that that STDs are associated by myriad of signs and symptoms that range from sores or bumps on the genitals or in the oral or rectal area, painful or burning urination, discharge from the penis, unusual or odd-smelling vaginal discharge, unusual vaginal bleeding, and pain during sex. “Other symptoms comprises of lower abdominal pain, fever, rash over the trunk, hands or feet; medical professionals have affirmed that signs and symptoms may appear a few days after exposure, or it may take years before an individual have any obvious problems, reliant on the organism” (Houser, 2015). According to information from monthly surveillance reports and the national trends and statistics, a greater percentage of the population has been discovered to exhibit the above signs and symptoms.
Plan of action to contain STDs
It has been noted that several factors influence the urge for collaborative work inclusivity to prevent and control the occurrences of STDs, they comprise risk behaviors, and the cumulative effects of multiple communicable diseases, especially on health inequities affecting at-risk populations. Healthy people 2020 has outlined several measures that can help contain the vice, it has elaborated that Miami Dade county must address system-level obstacles to judicious treatment of partners of persons infected with STDs, including the application of accelerated partner rehabilitation for the treatment of chlamydial and gonorrheal infections.
Healthy people have outlined that there is need to enhance data collection on the behavioral variables of the population such as sex of an infected person’s sex partner, this will be indispensable in understanding the epidemiology of STDs and to guide prevention efforts. The county should initiate innovative message stratagems that are precarious in addressing issues of inequalities, enabling HPV vaccine uptake, and standardizing discernments of sexual wellbeing and STD deterrence, predominantly as they help lessen health discrepancies. Lastly, healthy people 2020 have affirmed that the health department and local representatives should coordinate STD prevention efforts with the health care delivery system to leverage new developments provided by health reform legislations (Healthy people 2020, 2016).
It is asserted that STDs affect persons of all racial, cultural, socioeconomic, and religious groups in Miami Dade County. These diseases are a remarkable health and economic encumbrance on the community, these diseases principally affect otherwise healthy young section of the populace, but the consequences can be enduring (Healthy people 2020, 2016). “Many cases of cancer, infertility, impulsive abortions, low birth weight, STD-related deaths, and other STD-related conditions are clearly preventable” (Healthy people 2020, 2016). There is need to devote in effective STDs deterrence packages to both shrink human anguish and contain health care costs linked with the diseases (Healthy people 2020, 2016).
CDC. (2016). Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Web.
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Healthy people 2020. (2016). National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB
Houser, C. M. (2015). Pediatric infectious disease: A practically painless review. New York:
Skolnik, N. S., Clouse, A. L., & Woodward, J. A. (2013). Sexually transmitted diseases: A
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