STD Increase Has Health Department Talking To Students

By Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - An alarming trend in Ector County. Officials say the number of STD cases in young people are skyrocketing.

On Thursday, the Health Department spoke with students at OHS and Permian. Most of the students said they had no clue how big of a problem STD's are amongst their peers.  Although many turned when pictures popped up and even made disgusted noises, most paid close attention to what officials and doctors had to tell them.

"Some parts I didn't really wanna look at but it brings truth to the realization that this stuff can happen," Permian Student, Destiny Vargas, said.

"Some of the pictures were a little scary and stuff. It's all good information that we need to know," Permian Student, Tavari Heredia, said.

The purpose of this talk was to educate the youth about the STD's going around in the area. According to health officials, they have seen a 40 percent increase in youth testing positive for STD's.

"It's the age group from about 16 -25, which is the high school age group to the early college age group. It's the most sexually active age group," Gino Solla, with the Ector County Health Department, said.

Currently, that is the majority of the patient population that is coming in for testing at the health department.

"Both Chlamydia and Gonorrhea have been on the increase," Solla said.

Some of those statistics were shocking to students.

"You would never think that somewhere as small as this would be as affected as it is," Permian Student, Tanner Thomason, said.

One question students asked health officials time after time was where they could get tested and how much it cost? Most students NewsWest 9 spoke to were glad that this presentation was made at their schools.

"A one night stand can mess something up and you don't want to have that for the rest of your life," Permian Student, Christian Pinick, said.

"If I don't protect myself, I can eventually catch these diseases and even die from these diseases," Permian Student, Erick Scassar, said.

This was the first time that the health department has ever done something like this but they hope with this positive feedback that they will do this talk for years to come to keep the students educated.