OMAHA (KPTM) – Officials at the Douglas County Health said the spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases continues to get worse. Douglas County has had one of the worst rates in the country for several years.
In 2010, 2,488 people between 15-24 years old who got tested were infected with Chlamydia or Gonorrhea. In 2011, DGHD statistics show that number jumped to 2,683 cases.
The county does not yet have a complete record for 2012. Research shows younger people are getting infected—some as young as 10.
44 of the 10-14 year olds who got tested in 2011 had Chlamydia—an increase from 2010, which was 32.
In terms of demographics, White and Black people of Non-Hispanic decent were most infected. Statistics show White people made up 31.1% (968 people) infected with Chlamydia in 2011. Black people made up 45.1% (1,405 people). This is up 4% from 2010.
For Gonorrhea, 587 Black people were infected—66.3%.
158 White people were infected—17.9%.
The health department does not have a clear reason for this increase, but some teens and young adults felt they have an idea.
Top hit music, trendy headphones and clothes and an overall concern with self-image was what many these two 13-year-old boys hanging out at the mall on Sunday felt is cool—not sex.
"They should just wait," said one of them. "I mean if you're willing to lose your virginity now, then you should be able to pay bills."
His stance of sex is what many parents think their kids also have; but he said this is not the case today in schools with so many "fast" girls.
"Meet me over here and we'll do that and kiss and stuff," he continued. "Some of them I don't even know."
Despite having sex becoming "normal" in their schools, the two 13-year-olds abstain and suggested their peers do the same.
"They're not ready for all this and they can possibly get something that they can't get rid of."
Other teenage boys said when the discussion of sex comes up they ask each other if they used protection because they worry about pregnancy, not STDs.
"We don't really think about that like—we just think ‘oh let's just have sex. She probably ain't got nothing [if] she's throwing it at me," One 15-year-old said. "So it's like ‘she shouldn't have nothing."
They said the reason numbers are so high in Omaha is a combination of Rap music that promotes casual sex, absent fathers, peer pressure and promiscuity.
"Eventually we are going to want sex from the girl, but it's not good to throw it out at first because all he is going to want is the sex not the girl for who she was—is."
"Be with that girl. I say be with that girl before you think about having sex and get to know her," one teen said. "Know a person's background and you should get tested first."
For years music has had seductive lyrics that promote promiscuity, but some older teens said it has gotten worse due to lack of censorship.
"Famous rappers. They all talk about women and men—exposing them."
"Yeah I think kids listen to that kind of music and the lyrics are all sexual."
Omaha zip codes 68122, 68112, 68104, 68111 and 68110 were areas with more than 3,000 cases in 2010-2011. It is important to know, DCHD officials said, that many teens from other areas in the county go to clinics in these areas to get tested in order to avoid notifying their parents. It is not necessarily that people living in these areas have STDs.
While these statistics show an increase in people infected with STDs, a positive fact is that they are getting tested. The challenge is that there may be many more sexually active teens that are not getting tested—or aware they may be infected.
To find out where you can get tested for STDs and HIV/AIDS visit www.DouglasCountyHealth.com.
Can't find something?