Bell County has some of the highest STD rates in Texas, partially due to Fort Hood (active military bases usually drive up local STD rates quite a lot). In 2017, there were 744 people living with HIV or AIDS in Bell County, with a prevalence rate of 213.9 per 100K people, under the Texas rate of 320.4. Not too bad so far, but it’s the bacterial STIs that are the problem here.
That same year, 4,036 people in Bell County were diagnosed with chlamydia, at a rate of a whopping 1,160.3, double Texas’s rate of 511.7 (though there were two counties with higher rates). The gonorrhea and total syphilis rates were 451.9 and 28.7.
One big problem is that there are still people out there who don’t know they are infected.
There is a stigma around HIV and STDs that prevents people from coming in for testing, but medical professionals are discreet and only want to help you. If it turns out that you have an STI, treatment is available, but if left undetected and untreated, it can cause irreversible damage.
There are only a few STD-testing clinics in Temple. You may qualify for free STD testing at the county level if you can prove your inability to pay. Keep in mind that public clinics often have long wait times and people might see you waiting. If that’s an issue for you, there are other options. The Baylor Scott & White Convenient Care Clinic in Belton offers STI testing and treatment.