Potter County STD rate increasing - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Potter County STD rate increasing

Potter County, TX - Some STD rates in Potter County continue to soar and the age at when people are being diagnosed is now even younger.

Some local STD testing clinics tell us what is driving the increase and what can be done to help.

Haven Health Clinics Male Health Center and Amarillo's Department of Public Health tell me they are spreading more awareness to the public in hopes the STD rate in Potter County will slow down.

Although many local health experts have worked hard trying to lower Potter County's high STD rate, it's a problem they continue to battle.

"We remain really high in Potter County, in regards to STD rates, particularly in chlamydia and gonorrhea," says Matt Richardson, Amarillo's Department of Public Health.

"Within that scope of 18 to 40, we see std's every day," says Donnie McFarland, Haven Health Clinics, Male Health Center.

At their clinics, they say it seems the age of those testing positive keeps getting younger.

"We have seen young boys from age 14 to 18. In that age category the STD rate is low but we have seen cases of a 14-year-old having an std," says Donnie McFarland, Haven Health Clinics, Male Health Center.

"Children and young adults are still making unwise sexual behavior decisions and the effects of that end up in our STD clinic," says Matt Richardson, Amarillo's Department of Public Health.

They see people of every level of socio-economics.

The Haven Health Clinics Male Health Center does around 100 tests a week and positive rates for many STD's run around 12 to 13 percent.

We're told that's why education is the answer.

"Education is starting way too late, education is not beginning at home where I think it needs to be discussed. Responsible sexual behavior really affects the outcome of children's lives and young adult lives," says Matt Richardson, Amarillo's Department of Public Health.

Amarillo's Department of Public Health encourages residents to take advantage of their free STD testing by going to their office at 1000 Martin Rd or call 806-378-6300 and the Haven Health Clinics Male Health Center has testing services at 211 SE 16th or call 806-322-1495.

Those tested will remain anonymous.

Potter County has some of the highest STD rates in the state of Texas.

Amarillo's Department of Public Health tell us the most recent data lists Potter County as fifth in Texas for chlamydia, with around 756 case-rates per 100,000 people.

Potter County ranked sixth for gonorrhea, with around 214 case-rates per 100,000 people.

Swisher County also made the list for gonorrhea.

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