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STD Testing options within Chelsea, Massachusetts

Chelsea, Massachusetts

Chelsea, Massachusetts in a city located in Suffolk County in the northwestern portion of the state. It is located directly across the Mystic River from the city of Boston. As of 2017, the population of Chelsea is 35,177. Chelsea, Mass. Is considered to be one of the most diverse cities in the state with a majority of residents identifying as Hispanics or Latinos.

Its neighborhoods are also incredibly diverse, despite the city’s smaller population. Chelsea Square is one such neighborhood. Considered to be a historical district, Chelsea Square offers one of the finest intact examples of 19th and 20th century architecture. As with many areas throughout the state, sexually transmitted infections are a concern for both local and state officials. Many individuals are working to educate the population about how to prevent and treat STI’s.

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STD Statistics In Suffolk County, MA

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Statistics reported is based on publicly available data sources such as CDC for Suffolk County, MA. Data is normalized to accurately report Suffolk County STD Breakdown.

Additional STD Test Statistics in Chelsea, MA

As of 2012, there were 694 reports of HIV infection throughout the state. Of those cases, 208 resulted in death. Between 2010 and 2012 the state saw a 30% increase in the number of cases reported. 73% of the cases reported were men and 27% were women. White, non-Hispanic men and Black, non-Hispanic women were the gender and ethnic demographics most affected.

In 2013, there were 23,539 cases of Chlamydia reported throughout the state. However, these numbers are low when compared to other areas. The state ranked 10th lowest when compared to other states. Chelsea was not listed on the list of the top five areas most impacted. The age group most impacted are those aged 20-24 years of age. The rate of infection in Black, non-Hispanics was seven times higher than in White, non-Hispanics. It was four times higher in Latinos. Women are recorded as more likely to become infected than men are.

The number of Gonorrhea cases increased 18% from 2012 to 2013. The cases reported are more condensed in highly urbanized areas, and more spread out in areas like Chelsea with a lower population. That being said, the city is one of the areas with the highest rates when compared to other areas similar to size and population. 59% of the cases reported were in males and 41% were in females. The age demographic most impacted were those aged 20-24. The ethnic demographic most impacted were Latinos.

Suffolk County reported the greatest amount of Syphilis cases out of any county within the state. There were 38 cases reported per 100,000 people. Males have consistently been more impacted than females since 2004. Those aged 25-29 were the most impacted. It was three times higher in Black, non-Hispanics than in any other ethnic group.

Graph of std rates in chelsea massachusetts from 2015

STD Testing and Sexual Education in Chelsea, MA

The state of Massachusetts does not demand sexuality education but rather allows school boards to make the decisions regarding sexual education. If they do decide to teach it, they are required to get the guidance of parents and at least one physician as to what should be taught. Districts are also required to make curriculum available that discusses AIDS/HIV. These are to be made available to be taught at every grade level. The curriculum is also required to be approved by parents and/or the rest of the community. Human sexuality instruction is also required to discuss teen pregnancy, family violence, sound health practices, and define sexual orientation in a correct and relevant manner.

Outside the classroom there are other areas at which an individual may receive information in regard to sexual health and well-being. On such place in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Their offices offer resources on contraception, STI prevention and where to receive treatment. Their website also provides many online resources as well.

There is also an initiative within the state to make condoms available at all high schools. The thought is that if students are receiving accurate and medically sound instruction about contraception and STI prevention, then they will be less likely to be a) sexually active, and b) contract an STI.

The closest Planned Parenthood to Chelsea is located in Boston, which is about a 25-minute drive via the highway. They offer a variety of resources for those seeking information about STI’s and how to prevent or treat them. They also have condoms and other forms of contraceptives.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Demographics in Chelsea, MA

Chelsea’s median income falls below the country, state, and county level. On average individuals make around $47,000 a year. The poorest ethnic demographic is Hispanic or Latinos. There are 5,581 individuals that fall within this group that live below the poverty level. This could possibly correlate with the fact the Hispanics or Latinos are the ethnic demographic that reported as having the most cases of Gonorrhea. Hispanic/Latinos also comprise a large portion of the population of Chelsea which could also play a role in these statistics.

The poorest gender demographic are females aged 25-34 years of age. This could possibly correlate with the fact females within this age range are most impacted by Chlamydia, and Black, non-Hispanic women are most impacted by HIV. 20.7% of women within this age range live below the poverty level. Women also on average make less than males in their yearly salary. In 2015, males made an average of $55,135 while women reported making an average of $46,246.

There does not seem to be a correlation between the salary Black, non-Hispanics make, and the fact that they are the overall impact STI’s have made on that demographic. Black, non-Hispanics are the ethnic demographic most impacted by HIV and STI’s, but they are the highest paid ethnic demographic. On average, Black, non-Hispanics make $56,038 a year.

STI Testing Resources in Chelsea, MA

There is the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. It is located less than a mile away. Their clinic offers free HIV testing and free rapid HIV blood testing. If an individual needs another form of testing, they can call the clinic to arrange it.

Project SHINE, also located less than a mile away offers a wide variety of testing services. These services include, free HIV testing, conventional HIV blood testing, rapid HIV blood testing, conventional HIV oral testing, Chlamydia testing, Syphilis testing, and Gonorrhea testing. It is recommended that if an individual needs HIV testing they call to arrange a time to come in.

Roca Inc. is located in Chelsea. They are a community based organization that offers most STI tests. These include free HIV testing, conventional HIV blood testing, Chlamydia testing, Syphilis testing, and Gonorrhea testing.

The Massachusetts General Hospital North End Community Health Center is located a little over a mile away in Boston. They are opened to the public and run their clinic with the intent to serve the general Boston community. Their clinic offers conventional HIV testing, Chlamydia testing, Syphilis testing, and Gonorrhea testing.

There is also the Bay Cove Human Services Center. They are in Boston, about 1.44 miles from Chelsea. They offer conventional HIV oral testing.

As previously mentioned, there is a Planned Parenthood in Boston. They offer treatment and testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV. In addition, they offer testing and treatment for bacterial vaginosis, genital warts, herpes, and trichomoniasis. They also offer the HPV vaccine and condoms. STD screenings are available to both men and women on a walk-in basis. They offer testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia using a urine sample. If tests come back positive treatment is available for both the patient and their partner. Many insurances are accepted and if the patient is insured than there are options available for the patient to still receive treatment.

There is also BAGLY Inc. This community based organization is in Boston about 1.84 miles away. They offer free HIV testing, conventional HIV blood testing, rapid HIV blood testing, Chlamydia testing, and Syphilis testing. They are open to the LGBQT community for those who are under 29 years of age.

Better Sexual Health in Chelsea, MA

Chelsea, Mass. seems to provide adequate resources, testing, and treatment for the population it has. While there has been an increase in STI’s, this does not seem to be from a lack of information provided both in an academic and medical setting. Educational curriculum supports and advocates abstinence, while also promoting being smart when becoming sexually active. While there is no Planned Parenthood within the city limits of Chelsea, there is a center in a nearby Boston, and Chelsea has several local clinics where testing and treatment is provided. Demographics and statistics suggest that African Americans or Latinos are most likely to contract an STI. Regardless of the statistics, the best way to prevent STI’s is to either remain abstinent or practice safe sex with your partner. Chelsea also provides several online resources that help educate about STI’s. One of which is: http://www.massgeneral.org/infectiousdisease/services/treatmentprograms.aspx?id=1893. 

As always, if you believe you have contracted an STI, please search out a testing center and seek treatment.

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