In 2016 Polk County witnessed yet another climb in reported rates for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. That year there were 991 reported cases of gonorrhea, 3,023 cases of chlamydia, 104 cases of early syphilis, and 51 reported cases of infectious syphilis.
Across the county over half – almost 60% – of all new STD infections are reported in sexually active persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years old.
Lakeland has testing locations throughout the city. On North Missouri Avenue you’ll find the Central Florida Health Care and on East Edgewood Drive you’ll find the Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, and on Lakeland Hills Boulevard you’ll find the Florida Department of Health in Polk County.
Public health professionals recommend regular testing for maintaining health and wellbeing for all sexually active persons. The Florida Department of Health in Polk County maintains a Sexually Transmitted Disease Program that focuses on reducing the transmission rate and medical implications of STDs across the county. Free STD testing is part of the program but you must meet the qualifications.
Their services include testing, education, and Partner Services for those who test positive. Through education and regular testing the goal is to see the STD epidemic reduced to eventual nonexistence.