To be fair Davenport is considered part of the Quad Cities and this is contributing to its high STD rate, but the fact remains that a large percentage of residents are infected or being treated for a sexually transmitted disease. This thriving metropolis is also experiencing a dramatic increase in STD rates that include Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B and C, along with Herpes, HIV and Syphilis. Measures derived from previously published scales were used to assess an urban, household sample of 594 15–24 year olds’ perceptions of STD-related stigma (Cronbach’s alpha 0.92), STD-related shame (Crobach’s alpha = 0.89), and receipt of an STD test in the past year. The independent school system in Pasadena relies heavily on the state funded abstinence only sexual education, which only touches on the basics of practicing safe sex. In 2015 the CDC also reported that the county had the third highest HIV rate in the state. The number of women who are diagnosed with Chlamydia is also rising, though some city health officials point out that Gonorrhea seems to be coming under control. STD-related shame was not related to STD testing.
While some residents of this bedroom community may feel that abstinence is enough to protect them from STDs, there are some that can only be detected with regular testing. Like many other states across the nation, Iowa allows each public school district to create its own sexual education programs. Over 38 percent of all new diagnosis of Chlamydia occurred in African American women, and 31 percent were Hispanic. Adolescents are the population most at risk for contracting an STD yet little is known about the role of STD-related stigma and STD-related shame on their test and treatment seeking behaviors. While demographics do play a role in the increasing number of STDs, the main reasons for the steady rise is the lack of education in the independent school system. Some school administrators point to the falling Gonorrhea and Chlamydia rates, but health officials note that these are not the statistics from this year and the number of those infected could have risen significantly. While today’s generation of high school students seem to be more open to signing and keeping abstinence agreements, this is still not the answer to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Beyond gender, most analyses have failed to control for other known correlates of STD screening, such as previous experience with a positive diagnosis, which may influence the relationship between STD-related stigma, STD-related shame, and STD testing. The bedroom community of Pasadena has plenty to offer residents, including its close proximity to downtown Houston. As one of the quad cities Davenport has a diverse demographical makeup that makes it a great place to live, but this is also contributing to its high STD rate. Herpes not only affects the genitals and mouth, it can also be spread to the eyes. In addition, we posited that adolescents who anticipated lower levels of STD-related shame from a positive STD test would be more likely to have been screened than those who anticipated being more shame-prone. You can spend just a few minutes taking care of your sexual health, and still have plenty of time to explore all along the city’s bayous.