West Columbia, SC, registered an uptick in the rate of new HIV infections reported in 2019 and 2020. Surveillance data collected in 2019 suggested HIV diagnoses in 2019 were at a rate of 717 per 100,000 population, while in 2020, new infections were happening at an incidence rate of 736 in every 100,000 individuals.
That aside, an undulating trend was observed in regards to new Chlamydia infections, with 1,537 individuals diagnosed in 2016 at a rate of 537.0, and in the following year, the cases reduced to 1,464 at a rate of 503.7. By 2018, they had risen again to 1,907 new infections prevailing at a rate of 656.1.
Additionally, an increase was noted in the number of new Gonorrhea from 579 at a rate of 199.2 in 2017 to 713 cases at a rate of 245.3.
However, a fluctuation was noted in the number of Syphilis diagnoses between 2016 and 2018. There were 49 new infections reported in 2016 at a rate of 17.1, with a decrease being recorded the following year, where 37 patients were positively diagnosed at a rate of 12.7. The numbers shot up in 2018 to 53 new infections occurring at a rate of 18.2.
Lexington County residents rely on the HIV/STD prevention program funded by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to curb the spread of HIV/STDs. In this regard, public health officials emphasize improving the efficiency of partner services, condom distribution programs, screening and counseling services, and prevention education campaigns.
Planned Parenthood – Susan Knapp Health Center, Newton Clinic PC, Pella Regional Health Center’s Medical Clinic in Sully, and UnityPoint Health – Grinnell Regional Medical Center are some of the health facilities Newton area that offer STD/HIV screening services.
Also, some city clinics offer free STD testing. Still, the doctor might not be available on-site or over the phone and access to services could depend on income and welfare eligibility.