Recent statistics are showing that the city of Mission has been experiencing a higher than average rate of STDs for the last twenty years, and state officials do not expect these numbers to improve without adequate education and testing. The area saw a marked increase in the number of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea cases in young Hispanic and African American women, and recent statistics are also showing that many of those infected do not display any noticeable symptoms. The number of HIV cases in men also increased between 2006 and 2010, which has prompted some health officials to consider new alternatives to the current educational programs.
- The city of Mission and surrounding Hidalgo county reported 188 cases of AIDs in 2010.
- Between 2006 and 2013 the number of residents who tested positive for Syphilis increased by four times to 509 reported cases.
- From 2006 to 2013 the number of residents infected with Chlamydia increased by over 1,500 new cases.
- In 2013 there were over 3,122 residents who tested positive for Chlamydia, and the majority of these were women under the age of 30.
The city of Mission is currently dealing with the same health epidemic that has been affecting the rest of the state, along with funding cuts to several of the area’s health care clinics. Not only is this making it more difficult for health care officials to reach all of the area’s residents and inform them of the importance of taking care of their sexual health, the independent school districts also refer to the state funded curriculum that promotes abstinence instead of testing and safe sex. Recently the city’s high schools have begun offering additional sex education classes that are designed to help deal with the rising rate of teen pregnancies, along with promoting the use of condoms some educators are also discussing the importance of regular testing with students and their parents.
While abstinence will prevent unplanned pregnancies and some STD infections, there are sexually transmitted diseases that can only be detected through testing. HIV tests in Mission are important for early detection, and are often the only way to treat and prevent the disease from spreading. Herpes testing in Mission is important for health and self esteem, treating the virus can also help prevent the embarrassing cold sores from appearing.
The city’s demographical makeup does play a role in the STD rate, but the main reason for the high number of infections is largely due to the lack of sexual education and resources in the area. Recent funding cuts have forced some health centers to close, which has also limited the number of health care officials who are trained to deal with this problem. The lack of sexual education in the city’s schools is not only adding to the number of teenage pregnancies, but also to the high rate of STDs among young adults and teens. Until residents in Mission understand how important it is to take care of their sexual health, the number of STDs will continue to rise.
The city of Mission has all of the advantages of the scenic Rio Grande Valley, along with the health problems affecting the rest of the state. The lack of sex education classes in the area schools has lead to an increase in the number of reported STDs and it has never been so important to get tested. While there are clinics in the city, the long lines have many residents scheduling a private STD test in Mission. You can spend just a few minutes at the local lab taking care of your sexual health, and still be able to spend the day exploring the local nature parks.
Tracking STDs, HIV, and AIDS in Texas