Montgomery County Health Department
The most commonly reported STDs in Tennessee are chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Between 2017 and 2018, the frequency of all three STDS increased in the state, including the Mid-Cumberland region, which includes Clarksville.
Statewide, the frequency of chlamydia infections has steadily increased since 2016, according to the most recent data from the Tennessee Department of Health. The state recorded 38,282 cases of chlamydia in 2018 for a rate of 565.5 per 100,000 people, which is about 16% higher than 2016’s rate of 488.4. Montgomery County, where Clarksville is located, was one of Tennessee’s hardest-hit counties in 2018, reporting 1,035.2 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 people. Throughout Tennessee, women represented about 65% of infections; this is consistent with nationwide trends and may be due to more frequent screening among women.
In 2018, Tennessee had the nation’s 11th highest rate of gonorrhea infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The state recorded 14,666 gonorrhea cases in 2018 for a rate of 216.6 per 100,000 people, a significant increase from the frequency of 111.5 per 100,000 reported in 2014. This was a faster degree of growth than the nation as a whole. Young adults were the most commonly affected by chlamydia. In 2018, young adults aged 20-24 had Tennessee’s highest infection rates, while those aged 25-29 had the second-highest. The Mid-Cumberland region, which includes Clarksville, had a much lower rate of infection than the state overall at 138.7 per 100,000 people. However, as in the rest of the state, reported case numbers are trending upward.
In 2018, the Tennessee Department of Health recorded 1,730 cases of syphilis for a rate of 25.6 per 100,000 people. The Mid-Cumberland region’s syphilis frequency was slightly lower at 16.1. However, this represented a 101% increase from the eight cases per 100,000 that were seen in 2014. Statewide, more than 88% of the people diagnosed with primary and secondary syphilis in 2018 were men. While only 12% of cases were in women, the rate of congenital syphilis increased by 302% between 2014 and 2018, going from 3.7 to 14.9 cases per 100,000. Nationwide, congenital syphilis cases increased 261% between 2013 and 2018, a trend that the CDC attributed to a lack of prenatal care.
STDs don’t always cause symptoms, but when left untreated, they can pose serious health complications, including infertility. Women who have syphilis during pregnancy may pass the infection to their unborn children, which may result in stillbirths. For these reasons, it’s important for all sexually active people to get tested regularly. There are a number of clinics in the Clarksville area that offer free or low-cost STD testing and treatment services.
The Montgomery County Health Department offers free, confidential STD testing to Clarksville residents. Clients can visit the health department to get tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV. These tests are provided on a walk-in basis only. The health department also sponsors a number of related healthcare services, including Pap tests, birth control counseling, and pregnancy testing.
330 Pageant Lane
Clarksville, TN 37040
The Matthew Walker Community Health Center provides comprehensive healthcare services to Clarksville’s uninsured and underinsured residents. Its primary care services include immunizations and physical exams, as well as a variety of screenings, including mammograms, Pap tests, and STD testing. The center provides testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, and it also offers conventional HIV blood tests. Appointments are required. The center accepts TennCare and most private insurance plans, and for uninsured clients, it offers sliding scale fees and help applying for health insurance coverage.
230 Dover Road
Clarksville, TN 37042
Located in nearby Nashville, this health center is operated by Planned Parenthood. It provides an array of reproductive healthcare services, including testing and treatment of chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, and other common STDs. It also offers rapid HIV testing, which allows clients to get their results in as little as 10 minutes. In addition to its STD services, Planned Parenthood provides Pap tests, pregnancy testing, and testicular cancer screening. Appointments can be booked online or over the phone. The clinic accepts many insurance plans and provides discounts for eligible uninsured patients.
412 Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37203
Nashville CARES is a nonprofit organization that provides many services to people at risk for or living with HIV. Every Friday, it offers drive-through testing for both HIV and hepatitis C. Appointments aren’t required, and clients receive their HIV test results in five minutes and hepatitis C results by the end of the day. The organization also offers free in-home HIV testing kits. In addition to its testing services, Nashville CARES offers free condoms and help accessing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
633 Thompson Lane
Nashville, TN 37204
Nashville’s Hope Clinic for Women offers a wide variety of reproductive healthcare services. Women can contact the clinic for annual health exams, Pap tests, and contraception counseling. The clinic also provides low-cost testing and treatment for several common STDs, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and genital warts. Walk-in clients may be accepted, depending on availability, but clients can also call or text the clinic to book an appointment. Parking is limited, so the clinic recommends arriving early.
1810 Hayes Street
Nashville, TN 37203