Texas STD Clinic Sees Increase in Patients
February 17, 2010
Staff at the Lubbock Health Department's STD clinic saw 171 patients last month, nearly double the 97 people treated during same period in 2009.
At a Board of Health meeting on Friday, STD team leader Jamie Parker said the new figures do not necessarily suggest an outbreak or a particularly bad month. Rather, they may represent simply an increase in patients, she said.
The City Council voted in August to shift responsibility for the clinic onto the state, with the Department of State Health Services handling disease-intervention and contact-tracing services previously run by city-paid staff. The switch in funding resulted in the hiring of an additional nurse and longer hours for the clinic, Parker explained.
Those expanded hours could translate into an increase in local STD numbers, though this will be beneficial in the long term. "If we increase patients and treatments, we minimize spread," said Parker.
Parker said the change allows her more time to conduct STD outreach and education. "We no longer have to do disease-intervention work," she said.
The STD clinic accepts walk-ins on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and Thursdays and Fridays at 8:30 a.m. Clients must telephone at 8 a.m. to check if a nurse is available. Tests for syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV cost $20. For more information, telephone 806-775-2933.
02.13.2010; Sarah Nightingale