Nestled in the Rio Grande Valley, this small community is currently experiencing the same health crisis as the rest of the state. According to statistics released by the CDC the number of sexually transmitted diseases has been rising at an alarming rate over the past twenty years, and health experts expect this trend to continue.
The number of sexually transmitted diseases in the area is rising each year, and without regular testing, the percentage of residents infected is only expected to increase. With a population below 200,000, according to state census data, the average rate of infection in 2010 was 399 per 100,000 residents. This means that almost half of those living in this close knit community are already infected with a STD.
It is not only Chlamydia and Gonorrhea incidents that are on the rise, but diagnoses for primary and secondary Syphilis are also increasing. More students are testing positive for the Herpes virus each year, and HIV incidents are also on the rise. The good news for the area is that as of 2010 fewer residents were living with AIDS.
Teens and adults of all ages are finding that they are not immune to any of the sexually transmitted diseases, and statistics show that across the board everyone is at risk for contracting a STD. Some of the additional statistics that has city and county health officials worried include,
- In 2010 3,168 residents tested positive for Chlamydia.
- The average rate for HIV infections was reported at 10 percent per 100,000 residents in 2010.
- In 2014 there were 80 diagnoses of HIV in the county, compared to 74 in 2005.
In 2011 some state lawmakers introduced a bill that would expand the information currently taught in public schools to include the use of contraceptives in an effort to curb rising teen pregnancy rates and decrease the number of students and young adults who test positive for a sexually transmitted disease each year.
Unfortunately this bill did not pass legislation and the current curriculum taught in the sexual education classes has not changed. Public schools are not required to teach anything other than abstinence, along with the basic facts regarding HIV/AIDS. Even though studies have proven that the best and most effective method at preventing the spread of STDs is to inform residents about the dangers they face, local officials are still extremely reluctant to veer away from the current curriculum.
It is this opposition to change and update sexual education programs in schools that is contributing to the high rate of STDs in teens and young adults, and it is also affecting older residents as well. Not all STDs are passed solely through penetration during intercourse some can be easily spread through casual contact. Without the information needed to protect themselves, school and city officials can expect to see STD rates continue to rise.
This is one of the reasons regular Herpes testing in Southeast Hidalgo is so important for students health, since the virus can be easily spread without engaging in any sexual contact. Regular HIV testing in Southeast Hidalgo is also critical for continued good health, especially since the rate of infection keeps rising each year.
Located along the U.S. and Mexican border, the small bedroom community of Southeast Hidalgo is currently dealing with a high rate of HIV/AIDs infections, along with the rest of the commonly transmitted STDs. There are several demographical factors that are affecting these rates, which include the community’s relatively remote location.
Situated along the U.S.-Mexican border the Rio Grande Valley is a nature lover’s paradise, but it’s remote location also makes it difficult for health officials to reach everyone. There are also problems with language barriers in the large Hispanic community, along with a deep mistrust of any government official.
Undocumented residents are often afraid to visit a local health clinic, even if they know that they have a STD. This also applies to the large number of migrant workers who live in the area, and often come across the border on work visas during the spring and fall planting and harvest seasons.
The state and county’s reluctance to update the information currently being taught in the public schools is making it almost impossible for teens and young adults to know how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases, which is also affecting the STD rate for older residents in the city. Until everyone understands how important regular STD testing is for their sexual and overall health, the number of residents infected will continue to rise each year.
Before you try one of the locally crafted beers or check out a Viper’s basketball game, it is important to take a few minutes and think about your sexual health. While there are a few community health centers located around the neighborhood, most residents prefer to avoid the long lines and crowded waiting rooms simply hoping that they do not have a STD. Now you can skip the overcrowded community facilities and schedule confidential STD testing with one simple phone call. This way you only need to spend 20 minutes or so at a local lab, and you still get the peace of mind that comes with being responsible for your sexual health.