Located in southwest Michigan, Battle Creek is in Calhoun County. Chlamydia is the most reported STD in the county, although there was a drop in cases during 2019. While the county has fewer gonorrhea cases and even fewer syphilis infections, these STDs increased in 2019.
Calhoun County documented nearly 950 chlamydia cases in 2019, resulting in an infection rate of 705.9 per 100,000 residents. Although showing an 11% drop in cases from 2018, overall, the county has reported a 4% increase since 2014 and nearly a 20.5% rise since 2009. Chlamydia infections have historically been higher among women, which remained true in 2019, with almost 67% of all diagnoses documented in females compared to 33% in men. Both sexes saw lower numbers in 2019 than the previous year, but female cases only dropped 7% while male cases dropped 18%.
Gonorrhea cases in Calhoun County were about 9% higher in 2019 compared to 2018. Due to a significant number of infections reported in 2009, gonorrhea cases were 43% higher in 2019 than they were 10 years ago. Gonorrhea incidents dropped by more than half in 2011 then started rising again; case numbers in 2019 were 149% higher than they were just five years ago. Gonorrhea infections have been higher among women than men since 2002, but the numbers have been relatively close. In 2019, females made up 53.5% of all cases while men accounted for 46.5%.
Syphilis infections have much lower case counts than chlamydia or gonorrhea, but documented cases of this STD are spiking in the county and statewide. In 2019, syphilis infections in all stages jumped by more than 128.5% compared to the previous year. Syphilis infections in the county have been higher in men than women since 2005, with 84% of the 2019 syphilis infections in all stages among men, along with 100% of all primary and secondary infections.
Between 2007 and 2019, only one documented primary and secondary syphilis infection was reported in a woman. Statewide, the highest incidence of syphilis tends to be among older adults, with the 30 to 44 age group accounting for nearly 37% of all primary and secondary syphilis infections. The 25 to 29 age group represented about 24% of the remaining cases, and the 45-plus age group comprised approximately 19.5%. While case counts are higher in older people, the actual rate of infection is higher among younger groups.
Undiagnosed STDs can do serious harm to your body, and you can pass an STD on to your sexual partners even if you don’t have any symptoms. The only way to know for certain whether you have an STD is through regular testing, which is why several sources in Battle Creek and nearby communities offer free or low-cost STD testing to individuals looking for peace of mind.
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 Battle Creek 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:
The CCPHD Clinic at Battle Creek offers free HIV and hepatitis B and C testing and low-cost chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomonas, and herpes testing. Confidential services are available to individuals aged 13 or older, with photo identification required. You may be asked to provide proof of income if you’re requesting a sliding scale fee. CCPHD accepts private insurance and Medicaid. Appointments are required, with current clinic hours Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon.
190 East Michigan Avenue
Battle Creek, MI 49014
Planned Parenthood operates the Kalamazoo Health Center, located 24 miles from Battle Creek. The Center provides HIV testing and chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, genital warts, syphilis, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis testing and treatment. It offers HPV vaccines, condoms, and STD/safer sex education. Appointments are required, and walk-ins aren’t accepted. If you don’t have insurance, you may qualify for a state-funded program or lower fee scale. Clinic hours are Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
4201 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49006
Alternatives Care Center is a faith-based, nonprofit organization that provides services to men and women. It offers free HIV testing with same-day results and STD screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Alternatives provides free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds. You must call to schedule an appointment, which will be with a registered nurse. Clinic hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
1346 West Columbia Avenue, Suite 106
Battle Creek, MI 49015
CARESSWM’s Kalamazoo office promises a safe, confidential environment for free HIV testing with your blood test results in 20 minutes. It offers HIV counseling, a support group, and PrEP and PEP navigation. Additionally, CARESSWM provides low-cost STD testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Walk-in hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., or you can call 269-210-7577 to schedule an appointment. CARESSWM offers free condoms and lube Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
629 Pioneer Street, Suite 200
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
In Kalamazoo, Family Health Center’s Alcott Street Campus offers on-site laboratory tests and screenings for HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. It provides HPV and hepatitis A and B vaccines. Services are low-cost, with Medicaid accepted and a sliding fee scale if you’re uninsured. Walk-ins are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. You can schedule an appointment Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
505 East Alcott Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49001