Lebanon Family Health Services is conducting a clinic Monday, Oct. 26, for free testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.
Chief Operating Officer Donna Williams said the set up is a little different from the health service’s typical STI testing clinics because of COVID-19.
All patients must schedule an appointment in advance for that day, rather than just walk in, during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. They also must wear a mask while visiting the office, which is at 615 Cumberland St., Lebanon.
When an STI clinic was done over four days this summer, the health services center “saw 118 people tested,” Williams said.
On Oct. 26, health services staffers plan on doing doing three appointments every 15 minutes. With four exam rooms, that leaves enough social distancing, according to Williams.
“If we can see 100 in one day, we’d be very happy with that,” Williams said. “It’s a challenge to see how many we can get in. Everybody has to be geared up.”
All participants will receive a $20 gift card as an incentive to get tested.
The numbers are sobering. Each year, 1 in 4 U.S. teens will contract an STI, she said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that those in the 15-24 age group make up one quarter of the sexually active population but account for half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted infections each year.
More than half of all people living in the U.S. will have a sexually transmitted infection at some point, Williams said, and it’s estimated that over 100 million in this country are living with an STI.
Tests at the clinic will be for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV. Patients will be informed within a week or so if there’s a positive result from a blood or urine test and brought back for treatment, Williams said.
“No call means no news is good news,” she said.
Most sexually transmitted infections respond very well to treatment, Williams said, while ones that persist can be managed.
To make an appointment for the testing clinic, call Lebanon Family Health Services at 717-273-6741.
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