Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are the three most prevalent STDs in Ector County. The rate per 100,000 for syphilis also increased in Texas between 2017 and 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although the state’s rate per 100,000 for chlamydia declined slightly between 2017 and 2018, public health professionals are still concerned about the prevalence of chlamydia in Odessa and other parts of Ector County. In 2016, nearly 66% of the county’s 4,882 chlamydia cases occurred in young people between the ages of 15 and 24. With 505.8 cases per 100,000, Ector County also has one of the highest chlamydia rates in all of Texas. Out of the 254 counties in Texas, fewer than 10 have higher rates of chlamydia than Ector County.
After a sharp increase from 2011 to 2012 and smaller increases in 2013, 2014, and 2015, Ector County’s gonorrhea rate started to decline in 2016. In 2018, it reached 161.6 cases per 100,000. When compared with other Texas counties, Ector County has one of the highest gonorrhea rates in the entire state. Furthermore, the gonorrhea rate in Ector County is comparable to the gonorrhea rates in counties with much higher populations. For example, Harris County is the largest county in Texas, but its gonorrhea rate is only slightly higher than Ector County’s — 185.8 compared to 161.6.
In 2018, the rate of primary and secondary syphilis in Texas rose to 9.0 per 100,000 from 7.9 per 100,000 the year before. The rate of early latent syphilis also increased in Texas, rising from 13.0 per 100,000 in 2017 to 15.0 per 100,000 in 2018. The rate of congenital syphilis more than doubled between 2017 and 2018, increasing from 45.0 per 100,000 to 92.2 per 100,000. In 2018, Ector County had a syphilis rate of 42.6 per 100,000. The county also had a primary and secondary syphilis rate of 13.6 per 100,000, which is higher than the state rate of 8.8 per 100,000.
Due to the high rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in Odessa and other parts of Ector County, it’s important for anyone sexually active to be tested for STDs. The CDC recommends annual gonorrhea and chlamydia testing for any sexually active woman under the age of 25. Older women should also be tested for these STDs if they have multiple sexual partners or have sexual contact with someone who has an STD. The CDC also recommends annual chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis testing for sexually active gay and bisexual men.
Basin Assistance Services is a community organization managed by PermiaCare, which is headquartered in Midland. As a Ryan White HIV/AIDS service organization, Basin Assistance Services offers free testing and other confidential services to residents of Ector County and 16 other counties in the region. For residents who meet income eligibility requirements, Basin Assistance Services offers case management, medications, transportation to medical appointments, dental care, and other services to help individuals living with HIV improve the quality of their lives.
1330 E. 8th Street, Suite 315
Odessa, TX 79761
The Ector County Health Department provides low-cost STD testing to residents of Odessa and other parts of Ector County. Testing is available on a walk-in basis on Mondays through Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m, and on Thursdays between 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. In addition to low-cost STD testing, the Ector County Health Department offers free condoms and information to help local residents protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections.
Ector County Courthouse
300 N. Grant Avenue
Odessa, TX 79761
Located in nearby Midland, Midland Health and Senior Services offers testing for HIV and several STDs. The agency also provides counseling and referrals to medical providers who can help with the treatment or long-term management of a sexually transmitted infection. Testing is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Midland Health and Senior Services provides test results and delivers medical treatment Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
3303 W. Illinois Avenue, Space 22
Midland, TX 79704