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Susan Knapp Health Center
Rosenfield Health Center
West Health Center
B Engebretsen Medical Clinic
East Side Clinic
Testing for STDs at home is safe, convenient, and private. Performed regularly, it can help you stay healthy and avoid unknowingly transmitting STDs.
You have many options for at-home STD testing. The best at-home STD tests are FDA approved and evaluated for safety and accuracy with fast result turnaround times and support from health care professionals.
At-home STD testing kits should include instructions for collection and test registration, along with materials such as containers and swabs to collect and send your sample to the lab. Most at-home STD tests offer results in about five days through a secure online patient portal.
Iowa’s total cases for all stages of syphilis dropped to 286 in 2018, from 290 in 2017, and primary and secondary syphilis cases dropped to 86 in 2018, from 101 in 2017. Polk County saw a dramatic decrease of 32.4% in total syphilis cases in 2018, per the Syphilis 2015-2019 Polk County Report, but 2019 would see a reversal. Polk County has seen increases in chlamydia and gonorrhea infections every year since 2015.
Chlamydia infections have increased for the last five years in Polk County, according to the Polk County Health Department’s Chlamydia 2015-2019 Polk County Report. There has been a 45.6% increase since 2015, with 2,362 cases that year compared to 3,469 in 2019. The smallest increase seen during this period was in 2018, with 3,134 chlamydia cases, compared to 3,104 in 2017, which translated to just a 1% increase. The biggest jump of 17% occurred in 2016, while 2019, the most recent year reported, saw a 10.7% increase, with 335 more infections reported than the previous year.
The Polk County Health Department’s Gonorrhea 2015-2019 Polk County Report documented a startling 121.8% increase in gonorrhea cases between the 628 cases in 2015 and the 1,393 cases in 2019. However, the increase in 2019 was only a 1.9% rise from the 1,367 cases reported in 2018, whereas 2015 had 59.4% more cases than 2014, and 2017 had 41.7% more cases than 2016, potentially indicating a slowdown in the trend. Gonorrhea infections have traditionally been higher in men, but not by a large margin in Polk County, and this margin got even smaller in 2019. Compared to 2018, which saw 52.2% of gonorrhea infections in men and 47.8% in women, 2019 saw this percentage drop to 49.9% in men and rise to 50.1% in women.
After an encouraging drop of 32.4% in total syphilis cases in 2018, Polk County cases took a dramatic jump in 2019. In 2018, there were 71 total syphilis infections, which were 34 fewer cases than the 105 reported in 2017. For undetermined reasons, this number skyrocketed in 2019, reaching 131 total syphilis cases, which translated to an increase of 84.5%. Between 2015 and 2019, Polk County saw a total increase of 98.5%, with 66 cases reported in 2015, which was the last year the county saw a decrease. While not as dramatic as the drop seen in 2018, syphilis infections dropped 5.7% in 2015 compared to the previous year.
Many STDs often have few or no symptoms, fooling individuals into thinking they’re fine. Even when STDs are asymptomatic, you can still infect other people, and you’re still putting yourself at risk for serious health issues. The earlier you get treatment, the less likely you’ll experience long-term effects from the infection. The only way to know whether you need treatment for an STD is to get tested.
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 Des Moines 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:
Polk Health Department offers STD testing and treatment for individuals aged 13 and older. There’s a $10 charge for Polk County residents and a $25 charge for nonresidents. Rapid HIV testing and counseling are available for high-risk individuals along with testing for low-risk individuals, with results in an hour. Blood test herpes testing costs $25, and blood test hepatitis C testing is $15. Clinic hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with hours extended until 6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays. Same-day appointments are available.
1907 Carpenter Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314
Planned Parenthood operates out of the Susan Knapp Health Center. It offers testing and treatment for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis, and genital warts, and testing and diagnosis only for HIV. It also provides STD prevention services, including condoms, internal condoms, dental dams, HPV and hepatitis B vaccines, and STD and safer sex education. All services are available by appointment or as a walk-in during clinic hours, which are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9:00 to 5:00 p.m., Wednesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month.
2304 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Multiple Des Moines locations
InnerVisions HealthCare performs free STD testing at its West Des Moines location at 1355 50th Street, Suite 400, and at its South Des Moines clinic at 500 Army Post Road, Suite 100. The West clinic is open Monday through Thursday, while the South clinic is open Tuesday through Friday (consult website for hours of operation). Individuals can call to schedule a free STD testing appointment or book an appointment online. Free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and confidential counseling are also offered.
500 Army Post Road, Suite 100
Des Moines, Iowa 50315
Multiple Des Moines locations
The Project of Primary Health Care provides free, confidential HIV and STD testing, including rapid HIV and hepatitis C testing, with results in 30 minutes, as well as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis testing with results in four to seven business days. At-home HIV test kits are available for those who qualify. PrEP consultation, risk reduction counseling, and HIV/STD prevention education are offered, and free safer-sex supplies, including condoms, lubricants, dental dams, and female condoms are available. Clinic hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesdays; and 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Fridays.
1200 University Avenue, #120
Des Moines, IA 50314
Agape Pregnancy Resource Center provides free STD testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. Staff is available to answer questions about how to avoid STD infections. Services also include free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds. The center is open Mondays through Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 7p.m.
2550 Martin Luther King Jr Parkway
Des Moines, IA 50310