Recently released statistics show that the city of Pecos has been dealing with an increasing number of STD infections for the past twenty years, and health officials warn that these percentages are not likely to improve. The counties bordering Mexico have some of the highest rates of STDs and statistics show that this also includes the number of residents living with AIDS. In 2012 there were currently over 15,000 diagnosed cases of HIV/AIDS and health officials warn that this number is probably higher. In 2009, Pecos and the surrounding county were ranked 6th in the state for the number of residents living in the area who had tested positive for HIV.
- In 2006 there were 0 cases of Gonorrhea diagnosed and by 2013 the number had climbed to 11.
- The number of diagnosed cases of Chlamydia doubled in a 6 year period, and women between the ages of 15 to 29 were the most affected.
- In 2013 the rate of Chlamydia cases in the area was 414.1 per 100,000 residents tested.
- In 2013 the number of Syphilis cases totaled 4, which is 4x more than reported in 2006.
The city of Pecos is located along the Mexican border, and it is proud of its history and culture, but this has also lead to an acceptance of the state sponsored sexual education program that promotes abstinence instead of teaching teenagers the dangers of not getting tested regularly. The recent cuts in funding has also hurt the city’s community health centers efforts at educating the residents, and while the local community colleges are reaching young adults the number of teenagers that test positive for an STD is continuing to rise. Until the city has a comprehensive sexual education program in place, health care officials will continue to deal with the increasing number of residents with STDs and not enough clinics to properly treat all of them.
While abstinence will prevent unplanned pregnancies it will not stop the spread of all sexually transmitted diseases, and regular testing is the only way to detect some of these infections. Even though there is a shortage of clinics it is still important to get HIV testing in Pecos, and it is also the only method to accurately diagnose this potentially deadly disease. Herpes tests in Pecos are also vital to your health, and it is often the only way to prevent the embarrassing cold sores from appearing.
The demographics in Pecos do play a role in the number of STDs that are reported each year, along with the below average yearly income of the largely Hispanic city. Religious beliefs, language barriers, and a general mistrust of city officials by the largely Hispanic community have added to the rising percentage of STDs in the area, but the main contributing factor remains the lack of sexual education in the city’s independent school district. Following the guidelines set down by the state the schools do teach and promote abstinence, but the high number of teen pregnancies are showing that a different approach needs to be taken.
Known for its rodeos and historic blend of Spanish and western culture, the small city of Pecos is also fighting a rising number of STD infections, and not enough clinics to quickly treat everyone. While the long lines and embarrassing risk of running into a friend or neighbor might make some residents put off this important health checkup, others are taking advantage of the ability to schedule a confidential STD test in Pecos. With one simple phone call you can avoid the long wait and only spend a few minutes in the local lab, which still gives you plenty of time to tour the historic train car downtown.