Efforts include annual Condom Crawl, free STI/HIV testing
ST. LOUIS – In recognition of World AIDS Day, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri (PPSLR) is hosting its annual Condom Crawl on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017.
The Condom Crawl is a community-wide event where Planned Parenthood volunteers encourage local bar patrons to practice safer sex and get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
PPSLR is committed to educating community members, empowering and informing them about their reproductive health. Each year, Condom Crawl participants distribute more than 5,000 safer sex kits, and encourage the community to be healthy and visit Planned Parenthood for health care services.
“The Condom Crawl is an opportunity for volunteers and staff to engage with the community, share our services, and enjoy a fun night out,” Mark Halastik, development officer at PPSLR said. “We are excited to be working with such a diverse group of volunteers. We look forward to reaching a wider group of people, many of whom will choose to visit one of our health centers for testing, treatment, or other services.”
Currently, there are more than 6,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the St. Louis region and more than 200 new cases each year. Furthermore, the St. Louis region continues to have some of the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea, with more than 11,000 and 3,000 new infections each year, respectively. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals ages 15-24 make up 50% of all new STI cases every year.
As a leader in sexual and reproductive health care, PPSLR is committed to the fight against HIV/AIDS and STI rates in the region. In fiscal year 2016-2017, PPSLR administered nearly 60,000 STI tests, including more than 8,000 HIV tests, and provided sexual health education to more than 5,100 individuals.
In conjunction with the World AIDS Day Condom Crawl, PPSLR is offering free STI/HIV testing to people age 24 and younger. Testing for HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis is available at all Planned Parenthood centers in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Joplin and Springfield, Mo. STI treatment for patients and/or patients’ partners is available for gonorrhea and chlamydia. Restrictions on free testing and treatment may apply.
This year, the Condom Crawl will take place in seven St. Louis area neighborhoods and in downtown Springfield. PPSLR volunteers will distribute condoms, lubricant, and STI/HIV testing information in each neighborhood. The event starts at 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1. Here is the complete list of neighborhoods:
- North St. Louis
- South Grand
- Delmar Loop East/West
- The Grove
- Central West End
- Midtown/ Grand Center
- Downtown Springfield
Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri (PPSLR) has provided high quality, supportive health care in the region since 1932. PPSLR is the area leader in sexual and reproductive health care, providing contraception, cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, education, and other services to tens of thousands of women, men, and young people each year. Patients can make appointments online or by phone at 1-800-230-PLAN (7526).
Contact: Jesse Lawder
314-531-7526 ext. 307