Shafter, CA, is a city in Kern County near Bakersfield that’s experiencing a sharp increase in STD infections. Chlamydia is on the rise with 6,117 cases in 2015 and nearly 7,000 in 2019, with 6,957.
It’s not only chlamydia. Gonorrhea is also going up. The county reported 1,545 new infections in 2015, and a few years later, in 2019, they had 2,317.
Another concern is primary and secondary syphilis diagnoses are increasing fast, with 161 new ones in 2015 and 281 in 2019.
Congenital syphilis is on the rise. The STD that’s transferred between mother and child grew from 29 infections in 2015 to 56 new ones in 2019.
City and county health officials are concerned about the area’s increasing STD numbers. To reduce the rising rates, they’re asking all sexually active persons to get tested regularly for sexually transmitted diseases.
There are several locations in Shafter and Kern County that provide comprehensive STD screenings. Many of these sites also include treatment and follow-up care.
Omni Family Health has a few places that offer to test for STDs, including the Shafter Women’s Clinic on James Street, the Shafter Community Health Center on S. Central Valley Highway, and the Wasco Family Health Center on 7th St. There’s also a Planned Parenthood at the Bakersfield Health Center on 16th Street.
Some facilities offer free STI testing. Before going to a free location, consider how long it will take to get seen. Many clinics have long waitlists or walk-in services only.