Bell, CA, a city in Los Angeles County, is under siege by an STD outbreak. The county’s 3-year average rate of new chlamydia infections went from 510 per 100,000 to 585.5 per 100,000 between 2011 and 2016.
Overall, the county saw over 60,000 new chlamydia diagnoses in 2017. More than half of those infections were women.
Syphilis cases are also on the rise, jumping from 1,209 new cases in 2013 to nearly 2,000 in 2017. More than 1,800 of the new diagnoses in 2017 were men.
Health practitioners in Los Angeles County are concerned about the increase in syphilis because of the potential risk to pregnant women which can lead to stillbirths and disabilities in newborns with the infectious disease. In 2017, 47 babies were born with congenital syphilis.
There are dozens of locations near Bell that provide STD testing such as the Northeast Community Clinic at the Community Medical Alliance building on the corner of E Gage Ave and Otis Ave. Another option is the East Los Angeles Women’s Center. Access to this site is available through on the #260 and #762 bus lines.
The AltaMed Medical Group operates a clinic on S Concord St and another on the corner of Whittier Blvd and S Rowan Ave. Another choice is the Planned Parenthood at the East Los Angeles Health Center, also on Whittier Blvd. Both sites are on public bus routes.
There are a few locations that provide free STD testing. They will require proof of income, and you’ll need to verify that their free services extend to treatment and follow-up care.