North Miami Beach, FL, is a popular tourist area in the Sunshine state that draws millions of visitors every year. It’s also in the grips of a devastating STD outbreak.
There were 26,632 people living with HIV in 2017, and 1,184 are new diagnoses. 80.9 % of new cases were men and 19.1 percent women.
In Miami-Dade County, new chlamydia infections went from 10,620 in 2015 to 13,415 in 2018. Gonorrhea is also on the rise with 2,600 new diagnoses in 2015 to nearly double in 2018 with 4,315. Although syphilis cases aren’t as high in the area, they still took a jump between 2015 and 2018 from 493 new cases to 546.
Miami officials are concerned with the city’s high rate of HIV infections and hope to see positive changes with more testing options. A 2016 report found Miami’s HIV rate was almost four times the national average with 54 new cases for every 100,000 people.
STD testing locations did increase, and there are more than a dozen clinics in North Miami Beach to seek answers and care when necessary. The AHF Healthcare Center at Jackson North provides STI screenings and is easy to locate on NW 170th St North in Miami Beach.
The local Planned Parenthood is at the Golden Glades-Miami Health Center at the corner of NW 161sts St and NW 165st St. It’s accessible by public transportation.
Free STD testing might be available at some clinics. When considering this option, make sure you have proof of income and watch for hidden fees such as treatment and follow-up care.