Additional STD Test Statistics in Pharr, TX
The Chlamydia rate in Hidalgo County has remained relatively stable over the last seven years. In 2016, the county rate was 414.8 per 100,000 population, and in 2009 it was 419.7 per 100,000 population. The rate reached a high in 2014 at 436.5. The rate in Hidalgo is lower than the Texas rate of 494.4. The county’s cases account for 2.5% of the state’s total cases.
The Gonorrhea rate in Hidalgo County peaked in 2012 and decreased slightly in the following years. In 2016, there were 410 cases reported at a rate of 48.2 per 100,000 population. The Texas rate, however, reached an all-time high in 2016. There were a total of 40,971 Gonorrhea cases in Texas at a rate of 147.0 per 100,000 population. Only 1% of Texas’s cases were found in Hidalgo County.
In Hidalgo County, Syphilis has shown the most concerning trends in recent years. In fact, the rate reached a seven-year high in 2016. The rate for Primary and Secondary Syphilis was 27.3 per 100,000 population in Hidalgo County. In comparison, the statewide rate was 32.6 per 100,000 population.
In 2016, there were 78 new cases of HIV in Hidalgo County and a rate of 9.2 per 100,000 population. The statewide rate was higher at 16.1 per 100,000 population. The county rate has remained relatively stable over the past ten years.
STD Testing and Sexual Health Education in Pharr, TX
The Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District is located in Pharr, and it operates the public schools in the community. These schools include Pharr-San Juan-Alamo North Early College High School, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Southwest Early College High School, Jaime Escalante Middle School, Kennedy Middle School, LBJ Middle School and Liberty Middle School.
Texas law does not require that sexual health or HIV education be taught in public schools. It is only 1 of 16 states that does not mandate HIV education. The Texas Health and Safety Code only outcomes minimal guidelines that the state “shall develop model education programs to be available to educate the public about AIDS and HIV infection.”
The instructional policies of the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District do not mention health or sexual education. While these topics may be discussed in local schools, their absence from school district policies is concerning.
Comprehensive sexual education is critical to achieving better health outcomes in Pharr and throughout Hidalgo County. Teens and young adults are often most affected by the spread of STDs and HIV. Sexual education instructs students about how to reduce high-risk behaviors and how to access testing and contraception resources.
Sexual education resources may be found at local health clinics. Consult professionals at Nuestra Clinica Del Valle, Access Esperanza Clinics Incorporated or Valley AIDS Council for more information.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Demographics in Pharr, TX
In Texas, the female rate for Chlamydia is more than double the male rate. In 2016, the rate for females was 696.3 per 100,000 population. The male rate was 287.1 per 100,000 population. In recent years, the male rate has been slowly increasing, while the female rate has remained stable. The African American rate is highest among ethnic groups at 908 per 100,000 population. The rate has been decreasing recently.
Since 2009, the male rate for Gonorrhea has been rising. The rate has increased by 55% from 2009 to 2016. Among ethnic groups, African Americans show the highest rates. In 2016, the rate was 421.8 per 100,000 population. Young people were most affected by the spread of Gonorrhea in Texas. The 20-24 age bracket had the highest rate in 2016.
Primary and Secondary Syphilis show the most concerning trends in Texas. The overall rate has been increasing in recent years. In particular, the male rate has shown a steady rise. Between 2009 and 2016, the male rate increased by 45%. In 2016, the rate was 52.5 per 100,000 population. The rate for African Americans was 84.4 per 100,000 population in 2016.
The HIV diagnosis rate for African Americans was highest in 2016. The rate was 47.8 per 100,000 population. Hispanics had the second highest rate. Males were most affected by the spread of HIV. Older individuals showed higher HIV rates in Texas. Individuals aged 40 to 44 years old had the most cases. Similar to nationwide trends, the most common means of transmission was male-to-male sex.
STI Testing Resources in Pharr, TX
Where can you find STI testing resources in the Pharr area? The Hidalgo County Health Department and other area clinics offer these services. Don’t wait to get tested at one of these locations in Hidalgo County.
The Hidalgo County Health Department serves the community by promoting better health outcomes through testing and treatment services. The McAllen Clinic is located nearby at 300 E Hackberry Avenue in McAllen. The following services are available here: Hepatitis B Vaccine, Chlamydia Test, Conventional HIV Blood Test, Syphilis Test, Gonorrhea Test and Hepatitis A Vaccine.
In recent years, the Texas legislature has enacted several laws that defund Planned Parenthood facilities in the state of Texas. Due to these budget cuts, Planned Parenthood locations in the Pharr have been closed. Local residents must now travel about 45 minutes to Harlingen for the nearest Planned Parenthood location.
At Planned Parenthood’s Harlingen Health Center, STD testing resources are available for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Herpes and HIV. These testing services include rapid HIV blood tests. Free condoms and educationals materials can also be accessed here. Low-cost options may be available for individuals without health insurance.
Another options for STD testing services is Nuestra Clinica Del Valle. This is a qualified health center that serves underserved populations in Hidalgo and Starr Counties. The San Juan Clinic is located at 801 W 1st Street in San Juan. Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Chlamydia and HIV tests are offered here. Patients must register to be tested. Clinical services may be available for uninsured individuals.
Better Sexual Health in Pharr, TX
Critical gaps exist in Texas public health resources, especially when it comes to sexual education. For this reason, health clinics, primary care providers and local communities must make a greater effort to address the sexual health issues in Hidalgo County.
In particular, medical professionals and public health officials must stress the importance of STD testing. Regular testing is recommended for all individuals in Pharr who are sexually active. Safe and reliable STD testing resources are available in the community.