Homeless Health Care Center
Southside Community Health Center
Dodson Avenue Community Health Center
Rossville Clinic at Fairview
Dickson County Health Department
The three most pervasive STDs in Hamilton County, and its county seat, Chattanooga, are chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. There were nearly 2.3 million STD cases diagnosed in the United States in 2017, an increase of more than 200,000 from 2016. Hamilton County’s diagnoses per 100,000 exceeded Tennessee’s rate by 39% and the nationwide rate by 47%.
There were 1,922 chlamydia cases reported in Hamilton County in 2017. Its corresponding overall infection rate of 532 per 100,000 people surpassed Tennessee’s 523 and the nation’s 529 per 100,000.
The county’s highest incident rates were among non-Hispanic African Americans, with 1,602 cases, followed by 412 Hispanic and 260 non-Hispanic white cases.
The Tennessee STD 2017 Epidemiological Profile revealed that of the state’s total 35,088 chlamydia cases, the 23,347 attributed to females were nearly double those of males, who accounted for 11,738 statewide. Additionally, 20-24 year-olds ranked as the age group with the highest number of infections, with 13,644 reported cases.
With a total of 928 reported gonorrhea cases in 2017, Hamilton County’s equivalent of 257 per 100,000 surpassed Tennessee’s 185 and the nation’s 172. In fact, the disease saw a sharp increase over the previous five years at the local, state, and national levels.
Hamilton County’s number of gonorrhea cases rose 42% between 2013 and 2017, increasing from 181 to 257 per 100,000 people, respectively. Likewise, the state’s numbers expanded from 114 per 100,000 in 2013 to 185 in 2017, accounting for a 62% hike. While the U.S. gonorrhea rates also increased 62%, the nation’s numbers were lower overall per 100,000 people. They were documented as 105 in 2013 and 169 in 2017.
Hamilton County documented 104 syphilis cases in 2017, combining the four stages of the disease referred to as primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary syphilis. This was a marked increase in cases from the 38 reported in 2013.
When calculated per 100,000 residents, infections in Hamilton County rose from 11 to 29, surpassing Tennessee’s rates of 15 and 22, respectively. The 20-24 age group accounted for the largest rate of infection at 26.2 per 100,000 statewide in 2017. However, the number of cases in 25-29 year-olds nearly tripled between 2013 and 2017, growing from 9.3 to 24.4 per 100,000.
According to Tennessee’s figures for 2017, men constituted 90% of the state’s primary and secondary syphilis cases, and the remaining 10% were attributed to women. The data is categorized according to sexual behaviors, with men who have sex with men accounting for 56% of the total.
It’s not uncommon for individuals infected with an STD to experience mild or no symptoms, which is why it’s especially important for sexually active adolescents and adults to get tested regularly. Left untreated, STDs can lead to serious health problems, including infertility and cancer. Hamilton County offers several free and low-cost clinic options for individuals without insurance.
As an affiliate of the Erlanger Community Health Center, Dodson offers a wide range of medical services, including primary and emergency care, preventative testing and treatments, behavioral health, and dental resources. The facility’s Express Care services include diagnostic testing and treatment for STD exposure. The clinic works with insured individuals and bills on a sliding fee scale for those who require free or low-cost care.
1200 Dodson Avenue
Chattanooga, TN 37406
The Homeless Health Care Center provides routine physical exams, diagnostics and treatment of chronic conditions, medications, and mental health evaluations and treatment. Its STD clinic conducts confidential examinations, testing, and treatment as well as educational programs for the area’s homeless population. As a federally funded program, the Center works with at-risk individuals. Its services are available to TennCare recipients for free and are provided at a nominal fee for the uninsured.
730 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
The county Health Department’s STD clinic offers confidential testing and treatment services. Its lab work is sent to the facility’s regional laboratory. Additionally, the Department provides a wide range of multilingual educational materials and training opportunities. Individuals on TennCare are eligible for free services. Area residents who are uninsured receive testing services for $20.
921 East 3rd Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
The Cempa Community Care Clinic delivers support services and treatment prevention for individuals experiencing health disparities. With a primary focus on infectious diseases, Cempa offers its clients general primary care, diagnostic laboratory testing, health screenings, pharmaceutical services, consultations, and referrals. While payment for most services is based on a sliding fee scale, the clinic’s STD testing services are free and confidential.
1000 East 3rd Street, Suite 300
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Choice Health Network is a community-focused operation that provides a broad spectrum of services, including transportation and food support, medical care, mental health counseling, pharmacy services, and HIV and STD testing and treatment. Its affordable resources range from free STD testing to reduced co-pays and deductibles, as well as assistance with finding additional treatment options.
1212 McCallie Avenue, Suite 150
Chattanooga, TN 37404