What are the STI test options in Merced,CA?

Scenic Merced, smack dab in the heart of The Golden State’s enormous Central Valley. California’s most productive agricultural region, and genesis of countless cultural icons. It gets its name from the Merced river and lends its nomenclature to Metropolitan statistical area; which it shares with Modesto California. It also shares Modesto’s rising rates of sexually transmitted diseases.

The stunning fertile valley of Merced suffers from vicious STD and STI transmission rates. Since 2013 there has been a 45% increase in diagnosis of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). That is a leap of more than 300,000 new infections in that time. Worse still, in 2017 alone there were more than 30 stillbirths attributed to congenital syphilis in California. The highest it has been in nearly a quarter of a century. Doctors in Merced County are concerned that not enough of the public is being regularly tested, furthering the spread of virulent disease.

Options in prevention, detection, and treatment for the people of Merced are available. There are a handful of clinics north of the 99, close to Parsons, and there is Merced County Health Department where 140 hits the 99.

Free or affordable screening may be available at some clinics. Particularly around April, which is sexually transmitted disease awareness month. Locations often offer same day testing and can provide results in as little as 1-2 days. Students of Merced Community College on M street may have even more options available to them. Check your campus calendar for local STD events.

To find the best services and location for you, use our search tools below to compare location features across Merced clinics with our easy-to-read chart.

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STD Statistics In Merced County, CA



STD Cases


STD Rate

per 100,000 people

STD Breakdown

Statistics reported is based on publicly available data sources such as CDC for Merced County, CA. Data is normalized to accurately report Merced County STD Breakdown.

Additional STD Test Statistics in Merced, CA

STD rates in California are the worst they have been in two decades. National statistics show a rise in STDs, and California is worse with this including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.

Cases have increased over 10 percent in California for the three STIs since 2014 which was the worst previous year. Here are rates for chlamydia.

  • 479 per 100,000 in the United States
  • 486 per 100,000 in California

Recent statistics shows that chlamydia and syphilis rates are on the rise in Merced county.

The rise of cases of syphilis in particular in the county is drawing the attention of health officials.

They aim to stop the spread of STDs through education and increased awareness. The county recorded 23 cases of syphilis in 2016, up from 16 in 2015 and 14 the year before, according to the health department.

STD cases overall have been rising in Merced County. Younger people more likely to contract a disease, including syphilis.

“There’s no single reason as to why youth get syphilis more,” said a county spokesperson. One reason is this is the age where individuals first start having sex.

People are either not being aware or not being consistent with using protection. In 2016 the county health department reported 1,153 cases of chlamydia and 323 of gonorrhea. That compared to 1,117 for chlamydia and 338 for gonorrhea in 2015, and 1,036 and 188, respectively, the year before. Lowering the rate of syphilis while detecting it at the earliest stage possible has been a high priority for the health department.

Syphilis is most infectious in the first 12 months after contraction. The city’s health department is being proactive in addressing the risk of early syphilis.

The health department has been evaluating the stages of reported cases of syphilis in the county. It has also been identifying sex partners of a patient and treating them so the chain of disease can stop.

The health department also is paying attention to cases of congenital syphilis. This is spread when a pregnant woman with syphilis passes the infection to her child.  The infection could be fatal to the baby. It can cause bone deformities and brain and nerve problems.

Graph of std rates in merced california from 2014

Low Cost or Free STD Testing Clinics Near

Golden Valley HealthCenters


Golden Valley Health Centers targets the underserved, originating as a migrant health program based at hospital facilities. In 1972, it separated from the hospital and formed a non-profit corporation. Merced Women’s Health operates as part of a number of clinics and locations, and it is where STD testing and treatment are available, based on West Childs Avenues in Merced, CA.

The network of health centers touts that it “spearheaded development of patient registries and population management for improved patient outcomes” and among its innovations are cultural competency programs that have been part of a number of new sites in the region.

The group of health centers now has 28 sites and counting, serving 125,000 patients each year.


The STD testing services are available through the women’s health program and as such may only be available to females. Free STD testing may be available through payment assistance on a sliding scale according to income and family size.


The clinic offers treatment as well as testing and can offer prescriptions and ongoing care through its doctors on staff.


Patrons of the Golden Valley Health Centers have complained about the network of clinics growing into something unmanageable, however, there has been particular praise for doctors at the women’s health facility in Merced, CA where STD testing is available.


797 W Childs Avenue,Merced, CA, 95341



UC Merced Health Services


The Health Services at the University of California, located in Merced, CA, are there to ensure optimum physical health while students are completing their education. As such it provides primary health care as well as promoting lifestyle choices that reduce the risk of harmful behavior.

STD testing is available through Health Services, as well as anonymous HIV testing. The facility is staffed by board-certified doctors and other medical staff. Services are accessible with or without the student insurance plan.


You may have to be associated with the university such as through the alumni or be registered as a student or prospective student in order to access health services including STD testing. Fees are applicable but you can check if free STD testing can be sought through your insurance plan or if financial assistance is available.


Treatment is available through Health Services, including prescriptions and medication and education to prevent future infections.


UC Health Services is a convenient resource for students who live in Merced, CA and can be accessed if you are a student but the options it may offer those not affiliated with the university are limited.


5200 North Lake Road,Merced, CA, 95343



The clinic is not open on university holidays.

Planned Parenthood STD Test Locations Near

MercedHealth Center


Merced Health Center in Merced, CA hosts Planned Parenthood, one of 600 clinics the non-profit organization manages, as one of the most prolific reproductive health outfits in the U.S.

Providing easily accessible and low-cost healthcare that targets sexual health as well as family planning, it invites anyone to come and test for STDs and even provides interpreters in English, Spanish and other languages on request.

The clinic is located on Collins Drive and there is a hotline for any queries you have in advance.


Free STD testing may be available depending on your financial status. In some instances, you will be able to use insurance coverage.


Vaccines are available for HPV, hepatitis A and B and the clinic also provides STD prevention education and counseling. The center may also be able to provide you with antibiotics or another form of treatment for some STDs or give you a referral if appropriate.


Located in Merced, CA, residents may find this a preferential option but wait times can be long as the staff appears to be over-stretched.


3166 Collins Drive,Merced, CA, 95348



The clinic is closed on major holidays.

City or County Department Sexual Health Clinics Near Merced,CA

Merced County Public Health Department


The Merced Clinic is one of two clinics operated by the Merced County Public Health Department. The other one is based in Los Banos, CA but you will find HIV testing and AIDS case management in Merced, CA.

Services include enrollment onto the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), Ambulatory and Outpatient Medical Care, and the clinic also makes available transportation vouchers should you need them to make your medical appointments.

The clinics serve Merced County residents and fulfil a number of other community needs.


HIV testing is available to county residents, if you are resident outside of the county it is advised you check for eligibility in advance as well as qualification for free STD testing.


Treatment is available through the clinic at Merced, CA including ongoing management of your medical needs should you be diagnosed with HIV or AIDS.


The clinic is conveniently located for Merced, CA residents looking for HIV testing but it is unclear if free HIV testing is available and wider STD testing may need to be sought elsewhere.


260 E. 15th StreetMerced, CA 95341





The Newman Medical Center is part of the network of federally qualified health centers referred by the County’s Department of Health.

While part of Golden Valley’s vast network of clinics it offers specific services covering family health, pediatrics, dental and women’s health including STD testing.

Located in Newman, CA it is around 33 miles from the center of Merced, CA.


Free STD testing may be available according to your financial means taking into account income and family size, ask the clinic for more details.


Vaccines for HPV and hepatitis B are available as well as treatment for certain STDs and primary care for more advanced cases of infection. counseling and education on prevention is also available.


While the health center is a fair distance from Merced, CA, the facility has been noted for its doctors and staff who have been known to be thorough as well as informative.


637 Merced Street,Newman, CA, 95360



Urgent Care Clinics that May Offer STI Testing Services Near

Pinnacle Health Care


Pinnacle Healthcare is a group practice that has nine locations, including one in Los Banos, CA, which is located around 33 miles southwest of Merced, CA.

The facility specializes in family medicine but it also covers a number of other specialties with five multi-specialty providers in addition to their general practice.

STD testing is available at this clinic for a number of different infections with access to pharmaceutical services as well.


There are no pre-cursers for accessing STD testing at Pinnacle Healthcare. Fees may apply for tests, although financial assistance may also be available on a sliding scale.


You can access treatment for certain STDs and a prescription for medication. The clinic can also refer you for more in-depth primary care needs with a local provider.


For urgent care, the center will see you on appointment only, but with a 33-mile proximity to Merced, CA it may not be the closest facility for urgency. Reviews suggest the service is not as fast as might be expected from an urgent care facility.


285Mercey Springs Rd Suite A,Los Banos, CA,93635



STD Testing and Sexual Health Education in Merced, CA

Comprehensive sex education is the law in California. This means that all public schools in California are required by law to teach comprehensive sex education and HIV prevention education at least once in middle school and once in high school.

Comprehensive sex education includes learning about anatomy and birth control. It also means students are taught about healthy relationships, decision-making, and more.

This sex education should give students information to make healthy decisions about relationships and sexual and reproductive health. The sex education curriculum in school should include information about:

  • Sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sex trafficking
  • Health relationships
  • Adolescent relationship abuse, intimate partner violence and sexual coercion
  • Sexual orientation and sexuality
  • Gender identity, gender roles, and gender stereotypes
  • Consent, communication, and healthy decision-making
  • HIV prevention and other STD prevention including testing and treatment
  • Pregnancy prevention, parenting, adoption, and abortion

It is the right of a student to get this information in schools. A group called Teen Source asks students if they are actually getting comprehensive sex education at school.

Teen Source provides students with a questionnaire online to fill out to say if they have not received sex education covering all of the above. Teen Source also gives students a chance to explain if they have received information that is not accurate.

Planned Parenthood in Merced has been using their education outreach as a way to prevent the spread of STDs. They spend a lot of our time in Merced County focused on community education. Through working with local partners and schools, Planned Parenthood reaches a broad age range.There still are areas where STD education isn’t as prevalent.

Legislation passed in California, AB 329, requires sexual health and HIV prevention education in public schools. This has helped Planned Parenthood reach more youth, but there still are young adults in their 20s who lack information.

A lot of people in college have limited info because they had limited or no sex education. It’s still a big issue in families where people don’t talk about it or it’s considered taboo. Planned Parenthood offers education services to anybody in the community. This can be a family, small group, or class.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Demographics in Merced, CA

A look at demographics can help our understanding of STI rates in your city and region. The demographic that is most likely to be infected and least likely to get tested is people 25 and younger.  Some experts blame the rates of STDs in this demographic in part on the use of new hook up apps that lead to casual sex among people 25 and younger.

Concerning the jump in the state for STDs, officials are not sure of all the reasons. People are not using condoms regularly so this could lead to the higher STD rates. People are going without testing and treatment and unknowingly spreading STDs. This is another possible reason for the higher rates.

We also see reports that STD prevention systems have been weakened because local and state clinics have reduced capacity or closed in the last few years. This also contributes to higher STI rates.

HIV diagnoses were 85 percent for men having sex with men in 2013. Gay men saw the highest rates for STDs.  Twice as many women suffer from chlamydia compared to men.

Men suffer in higher numbers than women from other STDs including syphilis and HIV. STD rates also are generally higher in areas with a high poverty rate.

STI Testing Resources in Merced, CA

There are STI testing resources available in your city and county. You can go to an area hospital, local lab or online service, or Planned Parenthood/Merced Health Center as some of the options.  A Planned Parenthood Center offers:

  • Conventional HIV Blood Testing
  • Chlamydia Testing
  • Syphilis Testing
  • Gonorrhea Testing
  • Herpes Testing
  • Hepatitis B Vaccine

Concerning the Planned Parenthood location, know that if you are uninsured, you may qualify for a state-funded program or a lower fee scale. Bring a photo ID with you. Know also that fees for services are based on your household incomes. You will not be turned away because of your inability to pay.

Planned Parenthood launched an app in California to encourage people to get STD testing. Through the app men and women can order chlamydia and gonorrhea tests.

If you are embarrassed to be seen at Planned Parenthood you could consider the hospital or urgent care option. No one will know why you are there. Yet another option is a private service such as PlushCare.

You order your STD tests. Then you visit a local lab.

Then you get results via email in three business days or less. When you order you choose the tests you want to order.

You can also use the STD Check private service. This service is advertised as being 100 percent confidential. All tests are FDA approved. Same day testing is also available. Five-minute testing is an option with results in one to two days.

STD Check does not accept insurance. This way your testing results are not reported to your insurance company. This service provides a free phone consultation with a doctor for every test where you have a positive result.

Better Sexual Health in Merced, CA

Whether you go to an urgent care center, hospital, clinic, Planned Parenthood, counsellor or nurse at an area high school, or an online service, you can find in your area information about STDs, testing, and treatment. While STD rates are high in your area, help is available in your area in the way of testing and treatment that is confidential, discreet, compassionate, and effective.

Consider how the staff at these facilities is trained to help someone like you, especially with the staff at Planned Parenthood or any other facility reminding you to check your health, improve it, and keep yourself healthy by always using a condom.

You can go to a counsellor or nurse at Merced High School for information about STDs, testing, and treatment. Mercy Medical Center can also help. Here are links to resources mentioned above.

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