Belton, TX, the county seat of Bell County, located in the Killeen-Temple Metro area, is battling an STD outbreak that’s not slowing down.
In 2014, there were 3,449 new chlamydia cases or 1,044 infections for every 100,000 residents, and in 2017, the county reported 4,036 diagnoses or a rate of 1,160 cases for every 100,000 residents.
Gonorrhea infections went from 1,138 in 2014 or 429 new cases for every 100,000 individuals. Three years later, in 2017, it reported 1,572 diagnoses or a rate of 452 infections for every 100,000 individuals.
Syphilis is also on the rise with 85 new cases in 2015 or 25 diagnoses for every 100,000 residents, and 100 in 2017 with a rate of 29 new infections for every 100,000 people.
Bell County health officials are concerned about the increasing STD rates and are asking all sexually active persons to get routine screenings to help prevent new infections.
There are several health centers in Belton and its surrounding areas that provide comprehensive STD testing. Many of these sites include on-site treatment and follow-up care.
Central Texas Support Services at the intersection of S Gray St and E Hallmark Ave in Killeen offers STI services.
The Bell County Public Health District operates the Temple Clinic on the corner of S 9th St and W Ave E.
Some facilities may provide free STD testing. These locations might ask for proof of income, and patients may not be able to speak with a doctor on-site or on the phone. Additionally, free centers can sometimes have long wait times for an appointment.