ReporterNews (Abilene) (02.19.13)
According to Texas State health officials, chlamydia infection is increasing. Christine Mann, assistant press officer with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), suggested that increased testing and more sensitive testing technology may have contributed to the statewide growth in chlamydia rates. Texas DSHS data show that the number of chlamydia cases has increased since 2004 from 70,186 to 122,493 in 2011 and local areas also have experienced an increase in cases.
In Taylor County, cases dropped from 710 in 2004 to 522 in 2006, but have since risen to 673 in 2010 with a small decline in 2011 to 643 cases. Callie Harris, spokesperson for the city of Abilene, noted that it was not possible to determine the exact reasons for the increase in chlamydia infection, although some factors including the number of clinics and doctors reporting STDs as well as successful information campaigns may be responsible. However, Harris explained that input from the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District officials indicates that only a small percentage of women are being tested. She said that some women who do not experience symptoms do not get tested.
According to the most recent data, the state reported significantly more cases in women than men. In 2004, there were 57,444 women infected compared to 12,598 men; in 2011, there were 93,423 women reported infected compared to 28,992 men.
Mann explained that the Texas Infertility Prevention Project, funded by CDC, allows the DSHS to provide screening sites with supplies, laboratory services, medications, training, information, and other resources to reduce STDs and prevent infertility caused by these diseases.