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Planned Parenthood Now Offering Free Syphilis Testing

Contacts

Joan Carr
Director of Community Affairs
(901) 725-3008


Published: 12.07.11| Updated: 12.07.11

MEMPHIS, TN — Planned Parenthood is now offering free syphilis testing for both men and women in its Health Center at 2430 Poplar Avenue during regular clinic hours and each Wednesday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in conjunction with Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center at 892 So. Cooper Street. It allows for testing in a comfortable, non-judgmental environment that is especially convenient for those who work during the day or are reluctant to get tested in a clinic setting.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause serious illness and even death if left untreated. Testing those who are at risk is crucial because the early symptoms of syphilis can be hidden or easily mistaken for a harmless skin rash.

In 2010, there were 634 reported syphilis cases in Shelby County (all stages). Shelby County accounted for almost 60% of all syphilis cases Tennessee during that year. The infection rate for all stages of syphilis is five times higher in Shelby County than in the U.S. overall.

Because syphilis infection often coincides with HIV infection, offering tests for both infections and prevention counseling to people at high risk makes it more likely that new infections will be discovered and treated before severe complications develop. An active syphilis infection can also make the infected person more vulnerable to HIV and more likely to transmit the HIV virus to others. Therefore, testing for and treating syphilis will also help to prevent HIV infection in our community.

For more information about PPGMR’s health services and community HIV testing program, please visit our website: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/memphis/. For more information about Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, visit their website at http://mglcc.org/.

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Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region (PPGMR), founded in 1938, is an affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. PPGMR’s mission is to ensure broad public access to reproductive and related health care through clinic services, education, advocacy and community partnerships in serving 42 counties in West Tennessee, North Mississippi and East Arkansas.

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