The city of Tyler has a high STD prevalence. Every year approximately 61,500 people are affected by chlamydia, 20,100 people are affected by gonorrhea, and 1,200 people are affected by syphilis in Smith County alone.
Those affected with STDs may not even know, as many come on asymptomatically, meaning they show no symptoms.
Many of these diseases are curable. For example, the three most common STDs – syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia – can be treated with antibiotics. However, with the rise in STDs and the increase in unprotected sex, this could be changing.
Antibiotic resistant cases of diseases like gonorrhea are starting to occur. Early detection and proper treatment are crucial to avoiding long-term side effects and significant health problems. By Texas law, minors are required to obtain parental consent for STD testing.
Across the state, concerned organizations and citizens are lobbying for the things that will help end the STD epidemic: greater funding, reduction of stigma, and the implementation of PrEP clinics.
Fortunately, testing services exist to keep you and your partner safe. Free STD testing can be an option. While there are downsides to it like the possibility of not being able to see a doctor, it can still help you stay safe.
The Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas can be found on South Broadway Avenue and there’s a Special Health Resources for Texas Incorporated lab site on Clinic Drive. On East Commerce Street the Cherokee County Health Department offers testing services, and Wellness Pointe can be found on South Henderson Boulevard.