Walker, a city in Kent County, experienced an increase in the number of HIV infections over the past decade. The infections rose from 744 at a rate of 151 in 2013 to 911 at a rate of 175 in 2018.
There were few cases of Syphilis reported in Kent County, and 71 percent of the infections were among men who have sex with men. The county health reports noted 34 Syphilis infections at a rate of 5.2 in 2017.
Gonorrhea cases were prevalent among the heterosexual population, and the infections fluctuated over the past few years. In 2017, there were 1,123 infected people at a rate of 173.1 per 100,000 persons.
Chlamydia infections rose sharply over the years and reached a high of 4,208 at a rate of 648.8 per 100,000 persons in 2017.
The Kent County Department of Health has been fighting stigma and discrimination using strategies such as free, voluntary, and confidential HIV testing, screening, and counseling, peer education, and outreaches, and distributing free condoms in entertainment establishments.
HIV/STD testing, screening, and treatment can be accessed in city hospitals such as the Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital and Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. Furthermore, medical centers such as MedExpress Urgent Care and Planned Parenthood – Irwin/Martin Health Center offer HIV/STD sexual services on a walk-in basis.
To access free STD testing available in some of the city hospitals, you may be required to register as a patient at the clinic and have some visible symptoms of the infections.