According to a recent report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, cases of three sexually transmitted diseases are at an all-time high in the United States.
That trend is similar to the numbers of cases here in Nueces County.
However, the big concern in Nueces County is the rising number of syphilis cases. In 2009, there were 30 syphilis cases in the county. For the first half of 2018, the total number of cases was nearly five times that number with 146 cases. The Corpus Christi Health Department expects that number to climb to 300 by the end of the year, which has many local doctors concerned.
“What we saw in 2017 was saying, ‘this isn’t a fluke,’ Kevin Hensley, the HIV/STD Program Manager of the Health Department, said. “This is really happening, and it’s something that we need to take seriously.”
At the start of the year, the Health Department implemented a strategic plan to get ahead of the disease. It is partnering with the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation to provide treatment at outreach events. The department also implemented express testing, which allows them to test more patients. Also, state funding for outreach and preventative treatment has increased.
The health department says STD’s could be on the rise for several reasons. Among them, are a bigger use of dating apps. Also, more people who don’t think they are at risk, aren’t getting tested.