Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (08.01.2013)
According to the Lubbock Health Department, the Texas county’s 2013 syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia incidence was likely to exceed 2012 rates. Between January and June 2013, Lubbock County reported 21 syphilis cases, 386 gonorrhea cases, and 907 chlamydia infections, compared with 14 syphilis infections, 290 gonorrhea cases, and 850 chlamydia cases during the same six-month period in 2012. Based on 2011 records for Texas’s 254 counties, the State Department of Health Services reported that Lubbock County ranked 11th in chlamydia incidence, eighth in gonorrhea incidence, and 15th in syphilis incidence. CDC reported that Texas STD rates placed the state among the 15 states with the highest gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis incidence.
Lubbock Health Department Licensed Vocational Nurse Melissa Perryman attributed Lubbock’s high STD incidence to people engaging in unsafe sexual conduct without knowing their own sexual health status or their partner’s status. Dr. Naghma Farooqi, obstetrician and gynecologist at Texas Tech Physicians, stated that high STD incidence resulted from failure to educate young, sexually active people about protecting themselves from infection. She clarified that STDs often caused no visible symptoms.
Farooqi urged people who suspected they had an STD to seek medical treatment for themselves and their partners to prevent STD spread or reinfection. Warning signs for women ranged from abnormal discharge to unusual pain. Farooqi advocated for prevention education and recommended methods such as abstinence, correct condom use, and over-the-counter spermicidal gels and lubricants that could kill STD bacteria.
Lubbock Health Department STD/HIV Clinic and Texas Tech Physicians offer gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV testing. According to Perryman, the STD/HIV clinic offered confidential STD testing for $20 and a range of treatments for an additional $10 charge. Tests might require a urine sample or a blood draw. Perryman recommended that sexually active people should be tested every three to six months.