Middlesex County’s STD rates are lower than Suffolk County’s, but still higher than many other areas of Massachusetts. In 2015, the HIV rate for Middlesex County was 10.5 cases per 100K people. The 2016 rates for chlamydia and gonorrhea were 298.3 and 55.3, and the rate for primary and secondary syphilis was 6.2.
Health officials are especially worried about young people who are sexually active and not using protection.
Since they do not want their parents to know they are having sex, they may avoid a doctor visit that would show up on their health insurance records.
Some organizations counter this by providing free, confidential testing and counseling. Health officials recommend that sexually active individuals always use condoms but caution that they may not prevent herpes.
Cambridge has some clinics around the city, including some free STD testing options for students only. The CHA Cambridge Teen Health Center provides STD testing and counseling at different locations throughout the city (check their website for times and places).
MIT Medical provides STD testing for students, and the HPV vaccine is also available there. The CHA Zinberg Clinic on Cambridge St tests for STDs and prescribes PrEP.