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Fuller Public Health Clinic
Irwin/Martin Health Center of Grand Rapids
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.
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are the three most common STDs in the Grand Rapids region. The CDC reports that in 2018, there were 5,307 diagnosed STDs in Kent County, where Grand Rapids is located.
There were 50,592 documented chlamydia infections in Michigan in 2018, which is equal to a frequency of 508 infections per 100,000 people. Kent County accounts for about 7% of the state’s population but about 8% of its chlamydia infections, with the county disclosing 3,936 infections that year. While this is about 4% less than the number of infections documented in 2017, it’s an increase of 9% over the figure disclosed in 2014. In Michigan, females are nearly twice as likely as males to be diagnosed with this infection, and those aged 15-29 account for most of the cases.
There were 1,340 gonorrhea infections reported in Kent County in 2018, with the county making up 8% of the total gonorrhea infections in the state. That year, the infection was reported at a frequency of 207 cases per 100,000 people, compared to the Michigan rate of 168 and the national rate of 179. Overall, males are slightly more likely to be diagnosed with this infection. However, among those aged 20-24, the demographic most commonly at risk for gonorrhea, infections are more common in females. Gonorrhea was reported at a rate of 580 infections per 100,000 males aged 20-24, compared to 735 females in that age bracket.
Compared to gonorrhea and chlamydia, syphilis isn’t as widespread among Grand Rapids residents. However, because of its seriousness and the surge of cases in recent years, it’s closely monitored by the CDC. To understand the number of new infections in a given year, the CDC records cases in their primary and secondary stages. In 2018, there were 649 P&S syphilis cases in Michigan, 31 of which were in Kent County. All but 69 of the state’s cases were documented in males, with those aged 25-29 accounting for the highest number of diagnoses. Among Michigan males aged 20-24, P&S syphilis is reported at a rate of 43 infections per 100,000 people, compared to a rate of 6.5 across all ages and genders statewide.
While some STDs are associated with painful or uncomfortable symptoms, the majority of those infected don’t experience any symptoms. Regular STD testing is the most reliable way to promptly diagnose and treat STDs and avoid long-term complications, such as cancer, heart or lung problems, vision problems, and infertility or sterility. The CDC recommends that sexually active individuals be tested for STDs annually or more often, depending on their risk factors. For those who don’t have health insurance or don’t feel comfortable discussing their STD status with their regular doctor, the Grand Rapids area has several free and low-cost clinics that provide testing and treatment services.
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 in Grand Rapids 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:
GVSU Family Health Center provides a full range of low-cost primary and preventative healthcare services to students, faculty, and staff of Grand Valley State University, as well as members of the Grand Rapids community who need a healthcare provider. The clinic provides an array of sexual and reproductive health services, including testing for STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Appointments are required for service and are made by calling the clinic. The clinic accepts most health insurance plans. For uninsured clients, a flat payment is required up front, and if the cost of services is less than that amount, a refund for the difference is sent through the mail.
72 Sheldon Boulevard SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Pregnancy Resource Center is a local nonprofit organization that provides STD testing for men and women. Free STD testing is available to women receiving pregnancy services, and a low fee is charged for clients not receiving these services. This fee is waived for those aged 17 and under. STDs that clients may be tested for include chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis, and syphilis. In addition to STD testing, the clinic provides pregnancy services, free support services such as one-on-one mentoring, and medical and community referrals. Appointments are required and can be made by calling or texting the clinic.
415 Cherry Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI
Irwin/Martin Health Center of Grand Rapids is a Planned Parenthood clinic that provides a full array of sexual health services, including STD testing, treatment, and prevention. STDs screened include chlamydia, herpes, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and gonorrhea. Test results are available within a few days to a few weeks, and treatment is provided if necessary. The clinic also offers safer sex education, STD prevention methods, and vaccines for HPV and hepatitis A and B. Individuals are required to book an appointment for services over the phone or via the online booking tool.
425 Cherry Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
The Grand Rapids Red Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing HIV in the Grand Rapids community. It provides free, confidential HIV and hepatitis C testing by appointment at its permanent site and various community outreach locations. Tests are conducted by highly qualified test counselors, and results are available within 30 minutes. In addition to testing services, the clinic provides HIV case management, early intervention services, and support groups. To make an appointment, individuals must call the clinic.
401 Hall Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Individuals in the Grand Rapids area can receive STD testing and treatment through the Kent County Health Department’s Fuller Clinic. Testing is available for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis and is conducted by clinic nurses through a urine or blood sample. Test results are available within four business days and are provided through a private password system via a phone or computer. Services are available to county residents aged 13 and over, and minors don’t need parental or guardian consent for testing, treatment, or counseling. Testing and treatment services are free. In addition to STD testing, the clinic provides HIV counseling and testing, community referrals, and partner services.
700 Fuller Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503