Considered a part of Houston, the small bedroom community of Baytown, TX is currently experiencing a rise in STDs that seem to be separate from those affecting the nearby big city. Ranking 19th in the nation for reported cases of HIV and AIDs in 2014, health officials are acknowledging that there has been a steady increase in the number of STD cases reported during the last twenty years. While part of this is due to Baytown’s close association with Houston, this does not account for all of the reported increases in sexually transmitted diseases.
- Between 1999 and 2009 3x more men than women were diagnosed with HIV.
- In 2011 over 4,000 teenage girls were diagnosed with Chlamydia
- 3 times as many girls under 18 were diagnosed with Gonorrhea as men in 2011.
- More African American men were diagnosed with an STD than any other group in 2011.
- Between 2001 and 2011 the number of reported Chlamydia cases in young African American men almost tripled.
Like much of the state that it is a part of, the community of Baytown lacks a coherent sex education program. While part of this small area’s high STD rates is due to being counted as a part of a larger city, the bayside neighborhood still has a problem in its school system. The independent school district follows much of the same guidelines as the rest of the state which focuses more on abstinence, instead of practicing safe sex. It also leaves out important information on regularly testing, which is one of the main reasons for the high STD rate among teenagers.
Recent reports have noticed an alarming trend in the rising number of teens who are infected with a sexually transmitted disease, and this is especially true for young men. The number of men living with AIDS has dramatically increased in recent years, which is why it is important to have regular HIV tests in Baytown. Herpes testing in Baytown is another important infection check for, especially since it can often go undetected for years.
Health care officials are finding that there are several reasons the number of STD rates is steadily increasing, and these can range from age, education, to income and area of residence. The small neighborhood of Baytown has a limited number of clinics, and the long lines will often make those who do show up for tests change their minds and go home. This often involves the young African American men who are currently the most at risk in the Baytown area.
While some of this is due to poverty and a lack of neighborhood clinics, the main cause of the continuing increase is the lack of education. Parents often do not want to discuss or expose their children to this natural occurrence, and some even hope that it simply won’t be a problem. Simply teaching children about safe sex, and how to prevent dangerous STDs can go a long way towards solving the problem of the rising rate of sexually infectious diseases.
This small community nestled in the outskirts of the 4th largest city in the nation, is proud to be part of the city of Houston. With all of the big city attractions located nearby, along with the advantages of living on the gulf residents have plenty to do to keep them occupied. Unfortunately there is an epidemic among the area’s teenagers with more being diagnosed with an STD every year. While educational programs are slowly catching up, you should still be tested regularly for any sexually transmitted diseases.
Spending just a few minutes in a local lab you can have a private STD test in Baytown, and still make it in time to catch the ferry out to the stirring San Jacinto Monument.