Public Health Division
Anchorage Health Center
In Alaska, the three most commonly reported STDs are chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Due to significant increases in cases, the state recently declared outbreaks of both gonorrhea and syphilis.
Alaska had the nation’s highest rate of chlamydia infections in 2018, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In 2019, there were 6,255 reported cases, an increase of 2% from the previous year. Approximately three-quarters of these cases were in people younger than 29, with those aged 20-24 experiencing the highest frequency of chlamydia infections. Females were also disproportionately affected, representing 64% of cases.
Alaska’s ongoing gonorrhea outbreak began in October 2017. According to CDC data, the state’s frequency of gonorrhea infections was the second-highest in the country in 2018, after Mississippi. In 2019, the state disclosed 2,215 gonorrhea infections, with an overall rate of 303 cases per 100,000 people. This was 1% lower than the prior year, which may mean that efforts to control the outbreak were having an effect. The Anchorage/Mat-Su region, with 358 cases per 100,000 people, was one of the most affected parts of the state in 2019. Alaskans aged 20-29 had the highest rate of infection. Racial minority groups, including Alaska Native persons, were also disproportionately affected.
The state also has an ongoing syphilis outbreak, which began in early 2018. Between 2018 and 2019, the outbreak more than doubled in size: Alaska reported 242 cases of syphilis in 2019, which was 112% higher than the previous year. This increase was largely seen in heterosexual men and women, and some common risk factors for syphilis infection in Alaska include drug use, homelessness, and recent incarceration. The vast majority of Alaskans who were diagnosed with syphilis lived in Anchorage and other urban communities.
With the state’s high burden of STD infections, regular STD testing is important for all sexually active Alaskans. Many STDs cause no symptoms, but when left untreated, they can cause serious health complications, such as infertility. They can also be transmitted to sexual partners unknowingly. Anchorage residents can visit one of the city’s many free or low-cost clinics for STD testing and treatment.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain one of the most critical public health challenges facing the United States, with approximately 26 million new STD infections occurring every year. Nearly half of these new infections affect young people ages 15 to 24.
Community-based organizations are a vital first line of defense in the fight against STDs and HIV/AIDS in particular. They generate awareness and foster social change while providing access to testing and treatment.
You may not be aware of all the STD resources available in Anchorage that can help prevent the spread of STDs. Get connected with these community organizations that are leading the fight against STDs and HIV/AIDS with resources and support:
Operated by Planned Parenthood, the Anchorage Health Center provides comprehensive reproductive health care, including testing and treatment for many common STDs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. These services are available by appointment and on a walk-in basis, although the clinic recommends calling to verify availability. The clinic accepts many insurance plans, and uninsured clients may qualify for a lower fee scale.
4001 Lake Otis Parkway, #101
Anchorage, AK 99508
The Anchorage Public Health Clinic offers low-cost STD testing and treatment. Confidential testing and counseling are available for a variety of common STDs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea. The clinic provides antibiotic treatment to clients who test positive for bacterial infections, and for clients with HIV or hepatitis C infections, it provides referrals for treatment. The clinic also offers other reproductive healthcare services, such as pregnancy testing and birth control counseling. Clients who provide proof of income may qualify for sliding scale fees, and payment plans are also available.
825 L Street
Anchorage, AK 99501
The Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center has a wide array of health services, including primary care, dental care, and behavioral health services. The clinic provides confidential testing and treatment of STDs, including hepatitis C and HIV. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, the clinic services clients regardless of their ability to pay. The clinic accepts many types of insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid. For uninsured clients, the clinic offers sliding fee discounts, as well as help applying for health insurance.
4951 Business Park Boulevard
Anchorage, AK 99503
The Alaskan AIDs Assistance Association, also known as Four A’s, is a nonprofit organization supporting Alaskans affected by HIV and AIDs. It offers free, rapid HIV testing. Tests are conducted via oral swabs or finger-prick blood tests, and clients receive their results in 15-20 minutes. Four A’s also offers a variety of HIV prevention services, including risk-reduction counseling, free condoms, and a free syringe exchange. These services are provided by appointment and on a walk-in basis.
1057 West Fireweed Lane, Suite 102
Anchorage, AK 99503
The Student Health and Counseling Center is a health clinic for students at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). It provides a wide range of health services, including physical exams, immunizations, and depression screenings, as well as STD services. UAA students can receive reduced-cost testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and other common STDs. These services are handled by appointment.
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
This at-home STD testing program is offered by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium in partnership with Johns Hopkins University. Alaskans can visit www.iwantthekit.org to order a free chlamydia and gonorrhea testing kit. The tests are mailed in discreet brown envelopes, and clients receive a postage-paid envelope to return their samples. Results are available in 1-2 weeks, and clients can choose to be notified by phone or email. When necessary, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium can connect clients with clinics that provide treatment.
3900 Ambassador Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508