The rise in STD rates is becoming a growing concern in communities throughout the United States, including in the city of East Ridge, Tennessee, in Hamilton County. While both gonorrhea rates and syphilis rates increased from 2016 to 2017, the county saw a decrease in the number of chlamydia rates.
According to state records, gonorrhea rates rose by 25 percent, as the number of newly reported cases went from 740 cases in 2016 to 928 cases in 2017. Syphilis rates in the county increased nearly 45 percent over the same timeframe, as the number of newly reported cases, including primary and secondary stage syphilis, rose from 29 cases in 2016 to 42 cases in 2017.
Chlamydia rates, however, saw a slight decrease as the number of newly reported cases dropped from 2,057 cases in 2016 to 1,922 cases in 2017.
According to Hamilton County surveillance reports, there were 37 newly reported HIV cases in the county in 2017 and a total of 1,127 county residents were living with HIV as of December 31, 2017.
There are limited resources in East Ridge, Tennessee, such as Physicians Care – East Ridge, that might offer STD testing. However, residents can travel into Chattanooga to find other potential STD or HIV testing locations, including Chattanooga-Hamilton County Public Health Department, Channels of Love, Cempa Community Care, and AFC Urgent Care – Chattanooga.
In addition, local private physician offices and healthcare centers may offer STD testing. Many of these doctor’s offices are located along Ringgold Road or Spring Creek Road.
Some testing clinics may promote low-cost or free STD testing. Free testing could be the right option for some, but in many cases, you must meet specific income requirements to qualify for free services. In addition, not all clinics offer comprehensive STD testing, and some don’t provide immediate test results.