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Local study shows rise in Bell County's STD, STI numbers

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Posted at 6:35 PM, Feb 01, 2024

KILLEEN, Texas — Since the mid-2000’s, there has been an increase of STI’s in Texas.

New research done by the Bell County Public Health District shows that Bell County’s STI's and STD's account for more than half of the illnesses in the area.

"When covid was going on, many of our public health resources and health care access points were not available due to treating covid patients, so we really got behind in testing an treatments,” said Amy Mersiovsky, Director of the Department of Nursing with Texas A&M University Central Texas.

Diseases like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HIV, and Syphilis are at the top of the chart.

“It is very very important for people to know their partners, for their partners and their self to be tested for sti’s to get treatment and use contraception,” Mersiovsky said.

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Bell County Number According to Bell County's Health Department

Contraception is not guaranteed to protect you — the CDC and Epidemiologist of Bell County Public Health District are working hard to make sure they can slow the trade of disease.

It starts with offering free testing and testing pregnant women — many women don’t know they have it until they become pregnant

"There were about 3,700 infants last year reported to the CDC, who were affected with congenial syphilis across the US," Mersiovsky said.

It can be a deadly disease for the baby.

“One of the things that has been impeding us, is the treatment of syphilis is the shortage of penicillin coming out of the pandemic," Mersviosky said.

"They are some studies going around about a preventative dose of docilely, which can help with the bacterial STI, but that does not affect the viral STIs those include things like HIV."