The city of Tarpon Springs, FL, in Pinellas County, is in the middle of an STD crisis.
New cases of gonorrhea are increasing with 1,297 in 2014, and 1,441 in 2018. Also on the rise are new chlamydia diagnoses. In 2014, the county reported 3,855 infections in 2014, and in 2018, it had 4,428 new ones.
Infectious syphilis is also a concern, with 78 in 2014 and 191 in 2018. Additionally, the county recorded 150 early latent syphilis cases in 2014 and in 2018, it had 348 new diagnoses.
The county reported a growing number of congenital syphilis cases. Between 2014 and 2018, 13 babies were born with the disease.
County health officials are trying to reduce STD rates through preventive care awareness by urging all sexually active individuals to get tested regularly and seek treatment immediately for infections.
Several health centers in the Tarpon Springs area offer comprehensive STD testing, and many provide treatment and follow-up care.
The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County’s Tarpon Springs Health Department offers STI screenings on S Disston Ave.
The Metro Wellness and Community Centers operate the Pasco Hernando Center on US Hwy 19 in Port Richey. This clinic is accessible by a public bus route.
Another option is the Tampa Family Health Centers Sheldon Road Clinic or its Waters Avenue Clinic on W Waters Ave.
Some locations may provide free STD testing. These sites might ask for proof of income. Additionally, they may not offer comprehensive testing, which screens for all STIs and rapid testing might not be an option.