San Francisco is one of America’s most iconic cities, known for its personality, art scene and, of course, it’s sex-positive activism. San Francisco is well known for being especially gay friendly and its sex-positive attitude. Areas of the city are popular tourist destinations for those who enjoy adult entertainment as well as those who enjoy breathtaking natural scenery. As a cultural, financial and business hub, San Francisco attracts business leaders, celebrities, artists, financiers, tourists and visitors from all over the world. With such an eclectic mixture of people, it’s no wonder that local STD rates and sexual education are a top priority for the city.
With a year round population of more than 800,000 people, San Francisco is the fourth most populated city in California and the 14th most populated city in the United States. It’s also a popular tourist destination, though statistics on STDs and tourism remain difficult to find due to the nature of testing and reporting. According to the San Francisco Health Department, there has been an increase across the board when it comes to cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. When compared to rates a few decades ago, cases of chlamydia has more than doubled and there has been an increase of over 400% in cases of syphilis reported in 2013 as compared to 1994.
Data from here and here
While chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis may be at the forefront of STD reports nationwide, San Francisco also deals with both HIV and Herpes testing in San Francisco and education through a number of programs. AIDS and HIV are of particular concern for San Francisco because of the number of sex activists and educators who call the city their home. With a thriving LGBT community, initiatives to educate the public about HIV, AIDS, Herpes and other STDs remains a major initiative for the health department as well as the local schools.
San Francisco adheres to the standards of sex education set forth by the California Department of Education which requires that every student be instructed in the prevention of AIDS, HIV and other STDs as well as being given an understanding of basic sexual health and hygiene.
These efforts focus their work on children and young adults, but there is a wide array of sexual education opportunities for people of all ages throughout the city. Many local organizations offer workshops, seminars and a variety of courses not only in healthy sexual practices but also the finer points of a variety of sexual expression. Even at this level, there is a focus on safety with participants being given access to details and programs on STD and HIV testing in San Francisco through various clinics and programs.
The population of San Francisco is diverse but there are some still more vulnerable than others when it comes to exposure to STD transmission. People working in the sex industry in Red Light District areas such as North Beach and, of course, the Tenderloin are all at a greater risk not only because they don’t always understand the risks but because people there have less access to safe sex. Outreach programs in these areas tend to focus on STD testing through low income and free STD clinics that offer services on a first come first served basis.
This approach generates a large workload for clinics and can result in long waiting times with patients often waiting for hours before being seen. Waiting in crowded clinics often puts people off being tested at all and, as a result, experts worry there are more people already infected with some STD who simply aren’t aware of their status. As a result, many doctors now offer private STD testing to their patients as a part of their yearly exam.
There’s no denying that San Francisco is a sex positive city. Various parts of the city not only celebrate human sexuality but absolutely revel in it with Pride marches taking over the city every summer along with a host of sex workshops that cover everything from the basics of safe sex to the best way to flog your partner.
Still, the focus for sex professionals in the city remains on offering testing and education to people as widely as possible. Anonymous STD test in San Francisco isn’t available through local clinics or offices due to reporting standards but for those who want confidential STD testing, there are options. Many national clinics now offer testing options which can be completed through the mail without the need for an office visit.
These services offer the same tests and information as STD clinics but without the need to wait in their public office or arrange a set time to be there for testing and to get your results. Instead, the service is completed in your own time and in the privacy of your own home. This new trend may help San Francisco become even more aware of its sexual health and help to promote a healthier and more well-informed city for its permanent residents as well as its millions of yearly visitors.
Disclaimer: Safer STD Testing and it’s testing partners provide private (not anonymous) STD testing for all of it’s patients. Your information and results are retained on record strictly protected in full compliance with the applicable state and federal privacy laws.