The small city of Harlingen is an outdoor lover’s paradise, but it is also facing the same health crisis that is affecting the rest of the state. Statistics covering the last twenty years show that the number of newly reported STD cases is still increasing, and in 2001 there were over 1,000 new cases of Chlamydia. This is a dramatic increase since 1998 when there less than 800 new cases reported in the area, and data released by county health officials show that it has continued to rise over the last 15 years.
- Between 1998 and 1999 new cases of Chlamydia rose by 150.
- In the last two decades there have been over 60,000 new cases of Chlamydia reported in Cameron County.
- The county ranked 59th in the state for number of reported STD cases in 2013
- Cameron County has an STD rate that is 16 times greater than the average for the state.
The small city of Harlingen is facing the same problem as the rest of the state, with an alarming number of new STD cases reported every year. The city’s independent school district does have a sex education program that is aimed at teaching students the benefits of abstinence, but it does not handle the more pressing issues that deal with safe sexual practices and regular testing. Without this information being made available for teenager and young adults, the city will continue to face this mounting health crisis.
What the education programs in the school system are not teaching students is that sexually transmitted diseases can be contracted through other means, and not all display easily recognizable symptoms immediately. Herpes testing in Harlingen can help detect this viral infection which can be easily spread without sexual contact. HIV tests in Harlingen are also important for residents of any age, and this simple and easy procedure can help save your life and protect the health of everyone around you.
With its close proximity to Mexico the city of Harlingen has a strong Hispanic influence that is also reflected in its demographical makeup, and is affecting the STD rate. Language barriers between health care workers and the city’s many Spanish speaking residents can make it difficult to communicate the importance of regular testing. Poor economics and lower than average health care are also causing STD rates to rise, especially among Hispanic teens.
While these factors are contributing to the high STD rates in the region, the main problem remains the city’s lack of sexual education. Until residents learn how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases, and understand the importance of regular checkups these STDs will continue to spread and affect the entire community.
The importance of regular testing cannot be emphasized enough, especially for residents of this picturesque community. Located in the Rio Grande Valley, this small city has plenty to offer residents and visitors which should not include a high rate of sexually transmitted diseases. While the school system continues to follow the state’s example and teach abstinence based curriculum, there are ways that residents can protect their sexual health.
Regular tests and wellness checkups can prevent the spread of these diseases, along with protecting your sexual health. While some residents might put off testing out of fear of embarrassment or simply to avoid the long lines, it is now possible to schedule a private STD testing in Harlingen. With one simple phone call residents of the Rio Grande Valley can spend a few minutes in the local lab without fear of running into any friends or neighbors, and still have plenty of time to enjoy all of the unique things to do in this historic southwestern city.