HIV/STD infection rates continue to increase each year in Forest Lake City in Washington County, Minnesota. Most of the infections are attributed to high-risk behaviors among the young population. From 2015 to 2017, HIV infections gained from 6 cases at a rate of 2.5 to 9 instances at 3.8.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infections increased from 2017 to 2018. In 2017, there were 747 Chlamydia cases at 314, which slightly rose to 750 cases at a rate of 315 in 2018.
For Gonorrhea, the cases spiked from 146 patients at 61 in 2017 to 163 cases at 68 in 2018. Most cases were among individuals aged 20 to 24 years.
Syphilis cases, as reports show, were 14 in 2019, with most infections linked to the MSM and IDU.
Washington County Health Department creates awareness and conducts preventive education to the county locals on HIV/STD matters. It gives extra attention to the most affected youths by providing them with free condoms. There has also been sensitization of residents to take part in HIV/STD testing and screening.
With the increasing STDs/HIV rates, some Forest Lake health clinics offer free STD testing to the residents. However, some of the clinics lack appointment booking options, which might result in long wait hours.
There are facilities, such as Planned Parenthood- Lake Life Care Center and Allina Health Forest Lake Clinic- Urgent Care Clinic with walk-in options. Others include; M Health Fairview Lake Medical Center and Mercy Hospital- Unity Campus. All the facilities provide extensive HIV/STD treatment and screening.