At the Bell County Public Health District, we offer testing for gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis and HIV in the Temple and Killeen clinics. We offer treatment for gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. We refer for treatment/management of any positive HIV tests. Clinics are provided according to the schedule on a walk-in basis. Any fees due would be according to the schedule of discounts. All STD testing/treatment is considered confidential, except where required to be reported to the state for positive tests. Medications are provided onsite. Expedited partner treatment is available for clients whose test is positive and who qualify (this is on a case by case basis, depending on client situation).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About STDs
1. Will I always know if I have an STD?
No. STDs are often without symptoms. In fact, with gonorrhea some men may not have symptoms and most women will not have symptoms at all and symptoms, when present in women, are often mild. Chlamydia is even more frequently without symptoms with about 75% of women and 50% having no symptoms. The only way to know for sure is to get tested for STDs.
2. Do adolescents (teenagers, youth under 18 years old) need parent/guardian permission for testing and treatment of STDs?
No, the law clearly states that adolescents may seek and obtain medical testing and treatment for STDs and HIV without parental/guardian permission. The Bell County Public Health District will test and treat anyone __ years of age and older at our Clinics without parental permission. If there is a suspicion of abuse or neglect we are obligated to report that to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
3. Does my primary care doctor automatically test me for STDs at my annual physical?
Not always. Some doctors may test for STDs if they determine that a patient is at increased risk or if the patient requests STD testing. This is why communicating clearly and honestly with your doctor is important. Your provider will only know for sure if you need to be tested if you communicate your risk honestly.
4. Shouldn’t I only get tested when I have a new partner?
Anyone who is sexually active should be tested annually for STDs and HIV. Those who are at higher risk for infection such as people who engage in sex with multiple partners, frequent changes in partners, or those who have unprotected sex (oral, anal or vaginal) or sex while under the influence of alcohol or drugs we recommend testing every three to six months.
5. Does the exam cost any money?
The Bell County Public Health District charges according to a sliding scale and can bill some insurance but will not turn anyone away if they cannot pay for services.
6. Is my visit confidential?
Absolutely! We cannot share any information with anyone without your written permission, including parents or guardians. That means we can’t tell your parents, your teachers or your employer that you got tested and we can’t tell them the results. There are conditions where we must report positive STD’s or adolescents engaging in sexual activity.
7. What about my sex partners?
We encourage you to bring your sex partners with you. If you are infected with an STD your partner could be at risk. Further, if you get treated and your partner doesn’t get treated you run the risk of getting the STD again, from them. If you are nervous about telling your sex partner about your STD we can help. For more information on how you can anonymously tell your sex partners about possible exposure to an STD, visit www.inSPOT.org.
8. Do I have to be seen by a clinician to get some condoms?
No, condoms and other safer sex devices are available at the Bell County Public Health District Clinics. Just come in and tell the person sitting at the front desk you want some condoms, film, foam, or female condoms. They will provide you with what is available and a small fee may be requested based on our sliding scale. Condoms are always available, supplies of film, foam and female condoms sometimes run low. The Bell County Public Health District recommends that you use a condom each and every time you have sex.
9. Is my STD curable?
Most bacterial infections (such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis) are curable with antibiotics. Regardless, it is important to get re-tested in three months to make sure that you have not gotten re-infected. It is also important to note that there are complications arising with the treatment of gonorrhea as antibiotic resistant strains arise so prevention of STDs is incredibly important. Herpes, HIV and genital warts are all caused by viruses, and although there are medicines to treat the infections, no cure is possible at this time.
10. What can I do to reduce my risk of getting an STD?
First, talk with your partners. It is important that you know how many other partners he/she has had or currently has and if he/she has been tested recently for STDs, including HIV. And, second, wear a condom (a dental dam for oral sex) each and every time you have sex.