In between tours of the Amon Carter Museum and shopping in Sundance Square it is important for residents of Fort Worth, Texas to visit one of the city’s free STD testing centers. Like much of the state Fort Worth, TX is experiencing a rise in the number of reported cases of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis, B, C, Herpes, HIV, and Syphilis and the long lines at the STD clinics has many residents searching for a different option. Now you can make one simple phone call and schedule private STD testing and only spend 15 to 20 minutes at the local lab, which still gives you plenty of time for shopping and even a visit to the beautiful water gardens.
The 16th largest city in the United States and considered a part of the Dallas-Arlington metro area, historic Fort Worth is currently experiencing an increase in the number of reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases. Located in Tarrant County, the recent statistics show that the city has an STD rate that is slightly higher than the rest of the state.
The state average for the number of new cases of STDs reported each year is estimated at 435, but Fort Worth and Tarrant County statistics show that the city reports 448 new infections annually. While these numbers are slightly lower than other cities in the metro area, the statistics are still high enough to have health care experts worried that residents may be facing a greater risk than previously thought.
In the past twenty years STD statistics have continued to rise, and one of the most surprising increases was in the number of new cases of first and secondary Syphilis. Originally thought to be under control since the mid 1950’s, the number of new cases reported of Syphilis has Tarrant County health officials working overtime to try and find a way to educate city residents, while still meeting state and local requirements. Some of the other surprising statistics that seem to show that the steady increase in the number of new cases of STDs include,
- In 2013 Tarrant County saw 8,774 cases of Chlamydia.
- There were 153 new first and secondary Syphilis infections reported in Tarrant County in 2013.
- Gonorrhea numbers have declined between 2003 and 2013, which is keeping with the state average.
Unfortunately the growing number of newly reported cases of STDs has not brought any sudden changes to the sex education programs in the Fort Worth area schools, which has some community leaders worried that these alarming statistics will only continue to increase. Like much of the state, the Fort Worth independent school district relies on abstinence education, though some educators have made condoms available to students who sign up for the limited program.
The current sexual education program does not cover the dangers of unprotected intercourse, which many health officials believe is one of the biggest contributing factors to the steady increase in a number of STDs. This combined with the lack of information concerning the ways sexually transmitted diseases can be spread is only putting teenagers and young adults at a greater risk. Recently released statistics that show women between the ages of 18 and 25 are at the greatest risk for developing Chlamydia and Gonorrhea only seem to reinforce the importance of proper education and regular testing.
Herpes testing in Fort Worth is especially important if you want to prevent the spread of this viral infection, which can be easily transmitted through casual contact. HIV testing in Fort Worth is also important, especially considering the steady increase in the number of new cases reported each year. Until residents are informed and testing centers are more readily available, this historic city can expect to continue to have some of the highest STD rates in the state.
Demographics play a large role in the steady increase in STD rates, and this is especially obvious in the Fort Worth metro area. The city is home to a diverse population that is steadily growing, and city officials are having problems ensuring that residents’ health needs are meet. The shortage of clinics and testing facilities are adding to the problem, along with the state’s determination to close some of the other sex education centers.
Gonorrhea Cases in Texas, 1992-2012
Religious and cultural beliefs are adding to the problem, along with a language barrier in some of the city’s lower income neighborhoods. The strong conservative values stress that abstinence is the best answer to the growing STD epidemic, but recent statistics show that even with some teenagers ready to sign and keep this “sex-free” pledge it is not enough to prevent the spread of the infections.
When this is combined with too few clinics in lower income neighborhoods and religious beliefs that state sex before marriage is not permitted, it is becoming easier for city health officials to see how the STD statistics have gotten out of control and are steadily rising. A growing popularity in illicit drug use is also a contributing factor to the increase in the number of reported Syphilis cases, which surprisingly enough is becoming a problem in more affluent neighborhoods.
Gonorrhea Case Rates by Race/Ethnicity, Texas, 1992 -2012
Sexually transmitted diseases can affect anyone which is why it is important for residents of Fort Worth to get tested regularly. There are several clinics located throughout the city, but long lines and the potential embarrassment of running into a friend or neighbor has many residents choosing a more convenient option. Now you can easily schedule confidential STD testing with one simple phone call and only spend 20 minutes taking care of your sexual health in your local lab. It is fast and easy, and still leaves you plenty of time to enjoy the sunset over the Trinity River or shopping in some of the exclusive boutiques located in Sundance Square.