Clinical survey by Quest Diagnostics


Despite the prevalent rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs or STDs), many sexually active people who are exposed to these infections don't see the need to get a test; this was revealed by an industry-sponsored survey. The group, Quest Diagnostics is known for interpreting and conducting medical lab test for STDs. One of its findings from a test conducted on 4,500 young women and their healthcare providers showed a shocking pattern of their beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors.


Although, these landmark findings were done by Aurora Research & Consulting for their client Quest Diagnostics, and the official report is yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal. Out of 3,414 respondents who were young women of about 15 to 24 years old, 1,500 of them claimed to be sexually active while 1,016 were mothers of the women in that age bracket. The total number of respondents covered by this survey was 4,742 and had a representative of 312 physicians (from primary care/OBGYN and specialist fields).


Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infections are fast-spreading


Interestingly, the results showed how sexually active young women exposed themselves to the risk of STDs. But 62% of those below 25 years old told survey experts that they didn't feel exposed to the risks of STDs. Their views stem from that fact that only 4 in 10 of these women used a condom during their last sexual intercourse. In the U.S, there have been the highest level STDs spread in decades.


Young people between the ages of 15 to 24 years represent 63% of all Chlamydia cases as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2016. More so, from this data, there are over a million reports which are 3.4% of all sexually active women. The rate at which STDs is fast spreading becomes alarming when we consider the infection report of about five hundred thousand cases of gonorrhea cases in 2016.


Also, over 27,000 secondary and primary stage of syphilis were recorded by people who fall within the age bracket of 15 to 24 years. Consequently, from 2015 to 2017, there was an increase of 19% in gonorrhea infections, syphilis, and congenital syphilis recorded an increase of 18% and 28% respectively. When congenital syphilis occurs; it's from a mother to her newborn, and the child often comes with deformities.


Blame health providers too


A medical director of women’s health at Quest Diagnostics, Damian P. Alagia III was quoted to have said; 'There is a lack of communication between the patient and her clinician because one or both of the parties are reluctant to talk about STIs and the issues surrounding a topic that in many cases is both sensitive and uncomfortable to discuss.'


When asked why STD rates were spreading so fast, Eric M. Ganz, (an assistant professor at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine) had this to say; 'My summation is that it is multi-factorial and it is related to ‘pockets’ of high-risk groups that continue to have outbreaks of either gonorrhea, Chlamydia or syphilis. Unless we also focus on partner treatment and prevention of gonorrhea and Chlamydia, we won’t ever decrease these rates.'