Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are the most commonly reported infectious diseases in the United States, with more than 20 million new infections reported each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These diseases cause significant short- and long-term consequences, and even deaths, for those infected.
Aside from total abstinence, regular testing is the only way to know if a person has an STD, as some illnesses do not present any symptoms. To help individuals know their status, the Division of Health Services Clinic provides confidential testing. The clinic is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. To schedule an appointment, please call 636-949-7319.
Testing is essential for everyone interested in knowing their status. Talking openly and honestly with the medical provider will ensure thorough testing. The CDC especially recommends testing for:
Every adult at least one time for HIV.
Sexually active men and women who have new or multiple sex partners or who knowingly have a partner diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection.
Pregnant women who may be at-risk for having an STD, so that the infection does not impact their pregnancy or the development of the child.
Sexually active men and women who have unsafe sex or share injection drug equipment.
Affordable testing services provided through the Division of Health Services are open to all seeking help. Screenings are payable by cash, check and credit card (includes a service fee). Coverage through individual health insurance plans is also accepted. Individuals without insurance, who meet specific qualification criteria, may receive testing at no charge. For those that do test positive for these infections, medication and educational counseling are offered at no cost.
Preventing the Spread of STDs
Smart decision-making is necessary to prevent the spread of these diseases. The most reliable way to avoid infection is to abstain from any sexual contact. Additionally, being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an unaffected partner is recommended. Those who are sexually active should undergo regular testing and use latex condoms properly and consistently to reduce risk for transmission — although condom usage is not 100% effective in preventing pregnancy or STDs.