Linn County Public Health offering free, at-home STI tests
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Linn County Public Health Department is aiming to lower barriers for people to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STI). They partnered with the Iowa Department of Public Health and Lets Get Checked to offer STI testing you can do in your own home.
Linn County Clinical Branch Supervisor Heather Meador says the idea to offer at-home tests came during the COVID-19 pandemic and popularity of at-home test kits for the coronavirus. “We really want to take away as many barriers so that people can be tested. The more you know, the more you can protect yourself. And your sexual health is part of your overall health,” says Meador.
The Linn County Public Health Department says the most commonly contracted sexually transmitted infections in the United States are Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Human Papillomavirus [HPV], and Trichomoniasis. A majority of sexually transmitted infections are spread through direct sexual contact, and occur among individuals 15 to 24 years of age. Data from the CDC shows cases of STI’s, specifically chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, are continuing to rise in the United States, even through the pandemic. Preliminary data shows 2.5 million reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in 2021.
The tests are currently being offered at no cost, and can either be mailed directly to you or picked up at a participating pharmacy. People need to be at least 18 years old in order to get a test, and can fill out the survey to order a test here. You do not have to live in Linn County to get a test, anyone who lives in Iowa is eligible. Results are sent by email, and if you test positive, Linn County Public Health can help with getting treatment.
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