Westerly is an incorporated town on the southwestern shoreline of Washington County. The county’s rate of new HIV infections fluctuated according to surveillance data recorded in 2016, 2018, and 2020.
The rate of infections were 60 per 100,000 persons in 2016, 71 per100,000 people in 2018, and 52 in every 100,000 persons in 2020.
Conversely, the number of new Infectious Syphilis cases recorded between 2018 and 2019 had decreased from four cases in 2018, prevailing at 3.2 in every 100,000 population to three in 2019, recorded at a rate of 2.4 per cluster of 100,000 individuals.
Moreover, a decrease was noted in the number of new Chlamydia infections in the county between
2017 and 2019. The first year of reference had 487 reported infections occurring at 386.0 in every population of 100,000, whereas in 2019, there were 462 new infections at a rate of 365.7 per group of 100,000 people.
Furthermore, the number of new Gonorrhea infections reduced from 62 in 2018 reported at 49.1 per 100,000 population to 58 new cases in 2019 at a rate of 45.9 in every 100,000 individuals.
Public health officials have been leveraging the state health department’s HIV/STD prevention program, hence reducing new infections in recent times. The program seeks to reduce the incidence and prevalence rate of HIV/STDs by giving special consideration to people of color at the different county levels, evaluating, funding, monitoring county-level prevention programs, and actively tracing and referring positively diagnosed persons to care.
HIV/STD testing and treatment centers in Washington County include the Planned Parenthood – New London Center, Ocean State Urgent Care of Westerly, Wood River Health Services, and The Miriam Hospital HIV/STD Clinic.
Even though some clinics may provide free STD testing, the service may not cover all STDs. Also, for the tests that aren’t free, the costs may not be upfront.