The three most common STDs in Lawton are chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. The CDC reports that in 2018, there were 1,554 documented cases of STDs in Comanche County. While Comanche County is home to 3% of Oklahoma’s population, it accounts for 5% of the STDs reported in the state.
Of the 21,974 chlamydia cases that were documented by the CDC in Oklahoma in 2018, 1,068 infections were reported in Comanche County. This corresponds to a frequency of 879 infections per 100,000 people. By comparison, the state’s rate of infection is 559, and the national rate is 540. From 2008-2018, the number of documented chlamydia infections rose by 39%. Statewide, this infection is most commonly diagnosed in females. In 2018, about 70% of the disclosed chlamydia cases were in females. However, it’s becoming more widely reported in males, with the number of infections increasing by over 67% between 2010 and 2018. Oklahomans aged 20-24 contract this infection at a disproportionately high rate.
There were 471 documented gonorrhea cases in Comanche County in 2018. While this is equal to the number of cases reported the year prior, it’s a 92% increase over the number of documented cases in 2008. This infection is diagnosed in the county at a frequency of 388 infections per 100,000 people, which is considerably higher than the state rate of 229 and the national rate of 179. Cases were fairly evenly distributed between males and females in the state, with females accounting for just a few more cases than males that year. Those aged 20-24 are considerably more likely to be diagnosed with this infection. Among this age demographic in the state, the rate of infection was 1,780 in 2018.
While syphilis is significantly less prevalent than chlamydia and gonorrhea, the surge of cases in recent years and the potential seriousness of the infection warrant monitoring by the CDC. To determine how many new cases were diagnosed in a given year, the CDC evaluates the number of syphilis infections in the primary and secondary stages. In 2018, there were 531 P&S syphilis cases in Oklahoma, which corresponds to a rate of 14 infections per 100,000 people. The number of cases reported in Comanche County is consistent with the state rate at 12 but higher than the national frequency of 11.
While some STDs cause noticeable symptoms, many infections go unnoticed. In fact, according to the CDC, the majority of people with chlamydia and gonorrhea don’t experience any symptoms. Unfortunately, STDs don’t clear up on their own, and even those without noticeable symptoms can cause serious long-term complications, such as certain types of cancer, infertility or sterility, bone deformities, and damage to major organs. Regular testing is the only way to ensure that STDs are detected and promptly treated. For those who don’t have health insurance or aren’t comfortable talking to their regular doctors about STDs, the Lawton area has several free and low-cost clinics that provide testing and treatment.
The Comanche County Health Department provides a full array of free and low-cost healthcare services for residents in Lawton and the surrounding region. Clients can be tested for gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia, and those who test positive are given treatment. Testing is confidential and is available on a walk-in basis. A limited number of testing slots are available each day, so clients are encouraged to arrive as close to 8 a.m. as possible. Other services offered by the department include family planning, STD prevention and education, and birth control.
1010 South Sheridan Road
Lawton, OK 73501
Lawton Community Health Center provides sexual health services to residents in the Lawton region, including STD testing and treatment for common STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. The clinic accepts most major health insurance plans, as well as the state’s Medicaid program. For uninsured clients, it offers a sliding fee schedule to ensure affordable care. Appointments are required for service and can be scheduled over the phone. In addition to providing STD services, the clinic also offers primary care, pediatrics, behavioral health, and dental services.
5404 Southwest Lee Boulevard
Lawton, OK 73505
Big Pasture Health Center is located about 40 miles from Lawton in the city of Grandfield. This Variety Care clinic provides STD testing and treatment services for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Insurance is accepted, and the clinic has a sliding fee schedule for self-paying clients. Along with STD services, the clinic assists with enrolling in the state’s Medicaid program and provides chronic disease management, labs and vaccinations, and behavioral health care. Appointments are required for services and can be made by calling the clinic during normal business hours.
201 West 1st Street
Grandfield, OK 73546
The Anadarko Indiana Health Center is located in Anadarko, about 40 miles from Lawton. This state-operated clinic offers free HIV testing and low-cost STD testing and treatment for chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and syphilis. In addition to STD services, the clinic provides a weekly diabetes clinic, several monthly specialty clinics, including women’s health and wound care, primary care, acute care, and management of chronic health conditions. To make an appointment, clients should call the clinic directly.
201 East Parker McKenzie Drive
Anadarko, OK 73005
Located about 90 miles from Lawton, the Central Oklahoma City Clinic is the closest Planned Parenthood clinic. The clinic provides testing and treatment for a broad range of STDs, including herpes, syphilis, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Test results are typically available within a few days to a few weeks, depending on the type of test. Appointments are required for services and can be scheduled over the phone or through the online booking tool. For those who don’t have symptoms but suspect they may have contracted an STD, the clinic offers telehealth services.
619 Northwest 23rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73103