Athens, AL, the county seat of Limestone County, is dealing with a severe STD emergency that’s been steadily increasing over the past decade.
The county reported 265 chlamydia infections in 2016, and by 2018, it jumped to 414 new cases. During the first half of 2019, Limestone County already had 155 diagnoses.
Gonorrhea infections are also rising with 71 in 2016, more than doubling over two years to 214 new cases. Between January and June of 2019, the county’s already reported 93.
The number of primary and secondary syphilis cases in the county has remained constant between 2016 and 2018 with one new diagnosis each year.
County health officials are trying to bring awareness to STD prevention and are asking all sexually active individuals in the area to seek regular testing for themselves and their partners.
There are several health centers in Athens, and the surrounding areas offer STD testing. Many locations provide treatment and follow-care at the same facility.
Screenings are available at the Limestone County Health Department on Clyde Mabry Dr off of Bee Line Hwy in Athens.
The Family Health Care Clinic operates the Decatur Clinic on 13th Ave in SE Decatur. Access is also available on 14th Ave SE. It also runs the Rogersville Clinic on the corner of US Hwy 72 and Taylor St.
Some clinics may offer free STD testing. These locations might have limited appointment times or only provide walk-in services. Wait times for results may take several weeks. Free STI screenings might require proof of income.