Haines City, FL, a city in Polk County, and a part of the Tampa Bay area, is in the midst of a severe STD outbreak.
In 2014, the county reported 108 early latent syphilis infections, and in 2018, it had 172. Infectious syphilis is on the rise with 49 new diagnoses in 2015, jumping to 68 in 2018. The area reported its first significant increase in congenital syphilis in 2017, with three new infants born with the disease.
There were 2,891 chlamydia diagnoses in 2014, and 3,568 in 2018, or a rate increase from 462 new infections for every 100,000 residents to 523.
The county reported 654 new gonorrhea cases in 2014 and 1,020 in 2017.
Polk County public health officials are urging anyone that’s sexually active to protect themselves and their partners with regular STD testing.
There are over a dozen locations in Haines City and its surrounding areas that provide comprehensive STD testing. Most of these sites include treatment and aftercare services if necessary.
Central Florida Health Care offers screenings at their Dundee Clinic on Dundee Rd and the Winter Haven Clinic on 1st St in N Winter Haven. Both sites are located on a public bus route.
Another option is UrgentMed Care on S John Young Pkwy in Kissimmee. This site is nearby a pharmacy.
Some health centers may offer free STD testing. These locations might ask for proof of income, and it may be challenging to schedule a convenient appointment. Additionally, comprehensive testing might not be available.