The Atlantic community of Merritt Island in Florida is home to both the Kennedy Space Center and the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. However, while the wildlife of this community on Florida’s largest island is being protected, the people of this area are at growing risk. STDs and HIV are both on the rise in this area.
In fact, during the five-year period from 2014 to 2018, Merritt Island and the surrounding Brevard County saw a 6.8% increase in STD prevalence rates and a 16.7% increase in those of HIV. These numbers are in excess of the increase realized by Florida as a whole during this period, which was 4% for STDs and 3.7% for HIV.
Moreover, the upswing continued into 2019. The first half of this year showed a 12.1% rise in the STD prevalence rate in Merritt Island while Florida saw only a 2.6% increase during that time.
Our community looks beautiful on the outside, but on the inside, we are rotting away from the spread of these diseases.
Those living in the area of Merritt Island have a few options for STD and HIV testing and resources. These options are slim on the public arena.
They include the Florida Department of Health in Brevard County. It operates the Viera Clinic on Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera and may offer these types of screenings.
Planned Parenthood has two clinics within 50 miles of Merritt Island, East Orlando Health Center and Kissimmee Health Center. Each is located in their respective cities and might provide HIV and STD testing services.
Some health centers offer free STD testing. This may sound like a great idea, but it is often less than expected. Doctor consultations may not be available or might cost a fee. In addition, wait times may be long and results may not be available immediately.