In Bluffton, SC, the number of newly diagnosed HIV/STD individuals has continuously increased for the past few years. The county health department of Beaufort County revealed that HIV cases hiked from 350 in 2018 to 367 in 2020.
According to the surveillance report, STD incidents were also common among the town residents. The County Health Department noted an increase in Chlamydia cases from 749 cases at a rate of 417.1 in 2015 to 811 at 442.8 in 2017.
The number of persons diagnosed with Gonorrhea also escalated from 148 at a rate of 82.4 in 2015 to 222 cases at a rate of 121.2 in 2017.
Meanwhile, the county health report indicated a fluctuation in Syphilis cases, with the infections declining from 18 at a rate of 10.0 in 2015 to 15 at a rate of 8.2 in 2016. However, in 2017, they had increased to 18 at a rate of 98.
To lower the rates of HIV infections in the county, Beaufort County health department supports the Ryan White program to ensure low-income PLWHA have access to comprehensive medical care and treatment as well as medical management.
The health department has strategically located medical centers in Bluffton, SC, providing HIV/STD services, including Planned Parenthood – Savannah Center and St. Joseph’s/Candler Urgent Care – Bluffton. Residents can also seek help in Hilton Head Regional Physician Network and Coastal Carolina Hospital.
Most of these clinics offer free STD testing, although not all STD tests are free, and you may be required to pay for doctors’ consultation fees.