The St. Charles County Health Department announced recently it was closing the County’s only STD clinic. Although rapid STD testing will still be offered in the future, the health department said it will no longer provide STD exams and treatment, according to news reports.
At Planned Parenthood, we believe everyone should have access to health care, no matter where they live, their level of income or whether or not they’re insured. So for those in need of the care no longer available through the Health Department, we’ve got your back. Planned Parenthood has several health centers accessible to St. Charles County residents, including our St. Peters location and our North County location in Florissant.
Planned Parenthood’s STI Testing and Treatment Services
At Planned Parenthood, we offer STI testing for the following sexually transmitted infections: chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, syphilis, genital warts, herpes, trichomoniasis and others. We also provide condoms, internal condoms and dental dams. The HPV vaccine is available to prevent the HPV infection, which is associated with cervical cancer.
Anyone can come in for testing, whether or not you have symptoms. Services are provided by appointment, or you can walk in. In many cases, the testing and treatment is free. Other associated services are provided on a sliding fee scale. Same day and next day appointments are also available.
Why It’s Important to Get Tested
The St. Louis region ranks near the top of the nation in rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia. Many sexually transmitted infections have no symptoms at all. Testing is the only way to know for sure whether or not you have an STI. If you’re sexually active, you should get tested before having sex with a new partner, if you or your partner show signs or symptoms, or annually. It’s so important to get tested and to encourage our partners, friends and family members to get tested as well.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 20 million people in the U.S. contract an STI each year. About half are between the ages of 15 and 24. Most STIs are treatable, though delaying treatment can lead to future health problems. Condoms and dental dams offer some protection against STIs, but they aren’t 100 percent effective. If you are sexually active, testing (and treatment) is the best way to ensure you keep yourself healthy and don’t unknowingly spread an infection to your partner.
To make an appointment with us, visit plannedparenthood.org/health-center or call us at 314.531.7526.
Jesse Lawder is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Misouri.