Getting tested isn’t only for COVID-19

September 7, 2021

By Kafi Carr, BSN, RN, Clinical Operations Manager at Detroit Public Health Clinic

Since the pandemic, STDs have surpassed previous numbers of positive cases in the United States. In March-April 2020, there was a decrease in positive STD cases compared to the 2019 numbers during the same months. Stay at home orders, reduced STD screenings, and the lack of focus on STD testing to promote COVID-19 screenings and testing, likely contributed to the decrease. However, as staying at home became the new normal, so did unprotected sex.

As of December 2020, there has been a surge of positive STD cases not only in the US but the State of Michigan. Gonorrhea is up 14% since the beginning of the pandemic in the US and 22% in the State of Michigan alone. Common STD signs and symptoms include: discharge (clear or colored) from the genital area, pain during urination, itching or burning in the genital area, and unusual genital bleeding, warts or sores in the genital area. Getting tested is extremely important because despite the exhaustive list of signs and symptoms, most people are asymptomatic and can spread STDs to others.

According to CDC regulations, individuals should be tested at least once per year for both male and female regardless of relationship status or use of protection. Men who have sex with men (MSM) should test every 3-6 months. Testing is simple. Most STDs can be accurately detected by a blood draw and urine sample. Results are confidential and patients will receive their results within a week.

It is very important and vital for your health to get tested! Make an appointment with your primary care physician or find a walk-in clinic near you. Test at least once a year regardless of your relationship status or use of other prophylaxis

The Detroit Canfield Health Center is a great resource for residence of Wayne County and all surrounding areas. Located in Midtown Detroit, the clinic is open Monday-Friday with Saturday clinic hours every first and third Saturday. The Detroit Canfield Health Center is the only one of its kind in the state of Michigan. It is a grant funded walk-in clinic, which means the clinic takes patients with or without insurance. The clinic is further expanding by way of a Ryan White grant that will allow them to serve the HIV positive community.  There is also a financial counseling program that will assist in getting insurance for the uninsured.

For more information:

Detroit Public Health Clinic

https://detroitmi.gov/departments/detroit-health-department/programs-and-services/sexually-transmitted-diseases-clinic

https://www.cdc.gov/std/prevention/screeningreccs.htm

Getting tested isn’t only for COVID-19

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