by Larry Little
Sandra Owens Murphy wanted to make sure she doesn't have a sexually transmitted disease so she went to get tested, but health officials in East Texas say many people are not being tested because they are under the misconception AIDS, HIV, and other STDs don't exist in small towns.
"Sexually transmitted diseases, they are here in the rural area. It's a topic people don't like to discuss. It's a topic that's not discussed especially in the rural areas," says Beverly Chatman.
Beverly Chatman works with Health Horizons. She recommends everyone be tested. "I do encourage everyone to be tested at least once a year. You can have any STD and not have signs and symptoms and not know you are infected with HIV or other STDs," says Chatman.
Health Horizons isn't only testing for STDs. They are giving away gift card incentives to Eeast Texans who want to be educated about STDs and safe sex.
"I didn't know too much about AIDS or HIV until I came to this class," says Sandra Owens Murphy.