What are the STI test options in Santa Cruz,CA?

The Bay Area is known as an STD hot spot, but Santa Cruz does not have rates as high as San Francisco’s. In 2015, there were 433 people living with HIV or AIDS in Santa Cruz County, with a prevalence rate of 185 per 100K people, about half of California’s rate of 376.

In 2017, 1,115 people in Santa Cruz County were diagnosed with chlamydia, at a rate of 403.3, under California’s rate of 552.2. The gonorrhea and (primary and secondary) syphilis rates were 116.1 and 14.8.

Local health officials are most worried about the gonorrhea and syphilis rates, which have skyrocketed.

The problem with gonorrhea is that there is only one medicine left that can treat it, and the strain may be becoming resistant. Syphilis was thought to be pretty much eradicated in the US, but then it made a comeback due to decreased condom use.

There is free STD testing available for students, but only for HIV. You can also be tested at the Santa Cruz Health Center on Emeline Ave. Planned Parenthood is located on Pacific Ave. They test for STIs and treat all except HIV, and the fee is on a sliding scale. The UCSC Student Health Center provides self-directed STI tests to students.

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Not Sure Which Option Is Best For You? Let us point you in the right direction for STD testing in Santa Cruz, CA

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STD Statistics In Santa Cruz County, CA



STD Cases


STD Rate

per 100,000 people

STD Breakdown

Statistics reported is based on publicly available data sources such as CDC for Santa Cruz County, CA. Data is normalized to accurately report Santa Cruz County STD Breakdown.

Additional STD Test Statistics in Santa Cruz, CA

From 2011 to 2016 the occurrence of gonorrhea in residents living in the county grew 122%, followed by syphilis cases of which grew 104% during that five year period. Chlamydia comes in third with a growth of 30% from 2011 to 2016. In 2015, 2/3 of the reported syphilis cases in the area were in homosexual males. The same year, one child was born with syphilis contracted from the mother during her pregnancy. This could have been avoided, as it is easy to treat in pregnant women, showing just how important sex education is in Santa Cruz.

  • Between 2013 and 2014 diagnosed with syphilis grew from 32 to 45, a 41% growth from one year to the next.
  • During the same time period reported gonorrhea cases went from 134 up to 176, at a growth rate of 31%. For 2014, the majority of residents diagnosed with gonorrhea were between the ages of 20 and 24.
  • The good news is that from 2013 to 2014 cases of chlamydia were down from 1,003 to 810, a 9% drop in the rate of diagnoses.
  • 2014 saw the most cases of chlamydia in young women.

STD testing is always available in the city. Locals of all ages can rest assured that their testing will be taken seriously and handled with dignity and care.

STD Testing Santa Cruz, CA

STD Testing and Sexual Health Education in Santa Cruz, CA

Test counselors certified by the state regularly perform HIV testing in conjunction with the city’s AIDS Project. However, anonymous free HIV testing is only offered at the local office to those residents who qualify. This includes sexually active gay men, sexual assault victims, IV drug users and anyone whose significant other has already been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS. Test results come back the same day and testing can be performed in 15 to 20 minutes. Qualified residents can also get tested for hepatitis C.

Those who prefer to undergo STD testing without having to leave home can order a kit they can use to test for gonorrhea and chlamydia, the two most common types of STDs diagnosed in the area. Completed tests are mailed in and residents have their test results within days.

Student volunteers at the University of California Santa Cruz help run the HIV Prevention Program. Outreach programs are held for community members where educational activities and events are led. Those who volunteer for the project are encouraged to assist in programs already established or create programs of their own in an effort to fight HIV and AIDS infection.

Residents can benefit from the local STD Community Interventions Program. This is a program that has been in place since 2000 and was originally called the Chlamydia Awareness and Prevention Program. The program targets young adults and youths in the area at risk for STDs.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Demographics in Santa Cruz, CA

Since 2014, STDs in the city have been on the rise and many blame the problem on those who seek sexual partners using the Internet. Certain dating apps have been named as the root of the problem among mostly young men. Teenagers and individuals in their 20s are the biggest demographic of those suffering from STDs.

As a result, the policy is that certain neighborhood clinics will test anyone 13 or older for an STD without requiring parental consent. They also take walk-ins, which can be done on the evenings and weekends, making it easy for teenagers to obtain STD testing when it is convenient. Many of the clinics will treat couples were both are suffering from an STD.

Health care is always a growing concern and much of the health care system focuses on the treatment and prevention of STDs in the city’s residents. The process of being tested for STDs is an easy one as clinics and other health centers perform their testing the same way a hospital would.

No matter where one lives in the city, there is a place close by where they can get tested for STDs. There are thousands of testing centers throughout the area, with 12 main locations. Tests are always conducted in private. College students are especially encouraged to have themselves tested for STDs and to seek out support if they are diagnosed.

STD Testing Santa Cruz, CA

Better Sexual Health in Santa Cruz, CA

Within the state fighting STDs is a high priority, but it is higher in this area than in other cities throughout the state. The population of University students living in the city has contributed to the growing awareness of STDs and how to successfully avoid them.

As young people are the ones most likely to contract and STD, much of the city’s focus has been on educating them and offering them the support that they need to avoid contracting one. The caring and friendly help professionals are working towards a common goal; cutting down on the number of STD diagnoses. The city will likely continue to offer full support and accessible testing for those who need the tests the most.


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  • Please contact the individual public clinic to confirm pricing. Test pricing at public clinics many times depend on income and welfare eligibility.