Grovetown, GA, is a city in Columbia County. The county’s public health surveillance team noted an uptick in the incidence rate of new HIV infections between 2019 and 2020. In the former year, new infections were reported at a rate of 174 per 100,000 population while the rate of infection in 2020 stood at 176 for every 100,000 residents.
New Chlamydia infections drastically rose from 495 cases in 2018 reported at a rate of 320.8 to 538 diagnoses in 2019 recorded at a rate of 343.3.
A similar pattern was noted in the case of new Gonorrhea infections reported between 2018 and 2019. Whereas 100 people tested positive in 2018 at a rate of 64.8, there were 133 new cases in 2019 happening at a rate of 84.9.
The number of Syphilis diagnoses rose between 2016 and 2017, but remained constant all through 2019. In 2016, only five people were positively diagnosed at a rate of 3.3 while 2018 and 2019 had 13 cases each, which were diagnosed at a rate of 8.4 and 8.3 respectively.
According to public health data, Columbia County has noted an increase in the rate of STD and HIV transmission for a concerning number of years. A situation that has prompted public health officials to focus on educating residents on safe sex practices and emphasizing the need for regular HIV/STD screening especially among the youth and MSM.
You can access HIV/STD screening at MedNow Urgent Care, the Richmond County Health Department, and Augusta Care Pregnancy Center.
While some centers offer free STD testing, walk-in options may not exist. Also, such clinics may have inconsistent wait times.