Hall County, where Gainesville is the county seat, has experienced some STD epidemics in recent years. Georgia has some of the highest STD rates. Despite this, Hall County’s number of reported cases of chlamydia were lower than the state average in 2010. Unfortunately, Chlamydia cases are rising. In 2013, an average of 178 cases per 100,000 residents was reported. Five years later, reported cases had increased to 217 per 100,000 residents, a surge of 18%.
In 2014, 140 in every 100,000 persons in Hall County were living with HIV. While this rate is lower than the southern Georgia counties, HIV poses a significant risk to Gainesville residents. Of those living with HIV, the most affected ethnicities are Black (68.5%) and Hispanic/Latinx (19%), with Black males 5.8 times more likely to be diagnosed with HIV.
Georgia introduced an integrated HIV Prevention and Care plan to reduce the impact of HIV on Hall County residents. Some of the programs and services offered under this plan include medical nutrition therapy, and the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.
The AIDS drug assistance program provides FDA certified treatment for persons diagnosed with HIV. Other programs focus on increasing the quality of life for HIV-positive residents and reducing stress by providing a food bank and home-delivered meals, linguistic services, and medical transportation. As part of this initiative, it may be possible to qualify for free STD testing services, but people will know why you are there as there may be a lack of privacy at these clinics, and services may not be available at convenient times.
There are several clinics in Gainesville that offer testing, treatment, and support for these infections such as the Medlink Gainesville, Choices Pregnancy Care Center, District 2 Public Health Center, and the Substance Abuse Outpatient Clinic on Mabry Road.