STD rates are going up quickly in South Dakota, and medical professionals are even finding chlamydia cases in children 10 years and under and in seniors. STDs were better under control a short decade ago, but now many are making a comeback due to decreased condom use.
Health officials also blame budget cuts in the public health sector, which have led to clinics being closed. Many people in South Dakota have to drive some ways to find a clinic. If one is poor or cannot get off work, this is a problem that could lead to the disease remaining undetected and untreated.
In 2016, the HIV prevalence rate in Pennington County was 79.9 per 100K people, a little above South Dakota’s rate of 74.6. The same year, the county had a chlamydia rate of 576.8 per 100K people, above the state rate of 504.5. The gonorrhea and (primary and secondary) syphilis rates were 261.3 and 0.
The Community Health Center of the Black Hills on Pine St provides STI testing and rapid HIV testing on a sliding fee scale. The Community Health Center on Van Buren St also offers STD testing. Watch the community calendar, especially during STD Awareness Month, to see if any free STD testing events are available.