Gastonia is part of the Charlotte metropolitan area, which is known to have high STD rates. Gastonia’s are a bit lower, but still high. In 2015, Gaston County had an HIV prevalence rate of 321 per 100K people, a little under North Carolina’s average of 354.
But there are surely still people out there who are HIV-positive but haven’t been tested. There is still a stigma around HIV, especially directed toward gay and bisexual men (nearly three-quarters of HIV cases in North Carolina are men), which may make some people reluctant to come into the clinics.
In 2017, 1,382 people in Gaston County were diagnosed with chlamydia, at a rate of 627.7 per 100K people, a little above North Carolina’s rate of 612.2. The gonorrhea and (primary and secondary) syphilis rates were 242.1 and 15.
The NextCare Urgent Care on Robinwood Rd provides STD testing and treatment. The Gaston County Health Department also offers STI testing for adults and teens. Check the website for locations and schedule. There are more options in the surrounding area, especially closer to Charlotte, and you may even be able to find free STD testing there.