State officials in Maine have noticed an increase in STD rates across the state, and communities within Penobscot County, including the county seat of Bangor, are no exception. In fact, studies show that there has been a steady rise in chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis rates in the greater Bangor area from 2015 to 2017.
Syphilis rates in Penobscot County more than tripled over this timeframe, as the number of newly reported cases spiked from 2 cases in 2015 to 6 cases in 2017. Gonorrhea rates, on the other hand, more than doubled over the same timeframe, with rates jumping from 23 newly reported cases in 2015 to 54 newly reported cases in 2017.
Fortunately, chlamydia rates in the county only saw a mild increase as the number of newly reported cases rose from 509 cases in 2015 to 525 cases in 2017.
The majority of these newly reported cases of chlamydia involved residents between the ages of 15 and 24 years old.
County AIDS Surveillance Reports show a 40% increase in the number of newly diagnosed cases of HIV in Penobscot County from 2016 to 2017, as the number of new cases rose from 5 cases in 2016 to 7 cases in 2017.
Residents in Bangor, Maine, have several locations that might provide STD testing options, including Bangor Family Planning, Bangor STD Clinic, Health Equity Alliance, and ConvenientMD Urgent Care. Area physicians and health care centers may also offer STD and HIV testing. Many of these practices are located on or close to Broadway or Union Street.
Some health care clinics advertise that they provide free STD testing but it’s important to point out that not all these clinics provide immediate test results and not everyone is eligible for free testing services. In addition, some clinics don’t offer appointments, which could result in longer than normal wait times.