Known for its gorgeous Lake Michigan shoreline, the city of Muskegon, MI has a history of high STD prevalence rates. In fact, between 2014 and 2015, Muskegon saw as much as a 54% increase in some STDs like gonorrhea.
A review of the five-year prevalence rates for STDs and HIV shows that both are on an upward climb with an increase of 3.3% for HIV and 24.7% for STDs. Conversely, the most recent data shows that between 2017 and 2018 the prevalence rates of STDs in Muskegon have decreased by just over 3%.
This reduction is due in large part to the effort within Muskegon County to increase awareness. This includes outreach programs and an effort to notify known partners of confirmed cases.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, at one time, Muskegon had the state’s third highest rate of chlamydia cases per capita.
There are no public testing facilities within Muskegon. Until June of 2019, the Muskegon County Health Department housed the offices of Planned Parenthood. This clinic provided the county’s only STD testing clinic as the Health Department itself does not.
In June of 2019, Planned Parenthood was forced out of this office and all STD testing service in Muskegon ended. Members of the community looking for screening services can visit a Mercy Health Systems location although not all of them provide testing and it is best to call first and inquire.
It is important to remember that a clinic offering free STD testing may not always be the best option. Free testing is often limited in scope and inconvenient with long wait times for results.