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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.
Nestled in Harrison County on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, Gulfport is the state’s second-largest city. Rates of the county’s three most common STDs — chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis — increased significantly here from 2014 to 2018.
Chlamydia is a major concern in Mississippi. The frequency of infections increased by 27% in the years from 2014 to 2018, and in 2019, Mississippi recorded the second-highest chlamydia rate of any state. Cases have also increased in Harrison County, but not to the same extent. In 2018, the rate of chlamydia diagnoses was 655 per 100,000 people. This is about 14% higher than the frequency recorded in 2014.
As the chart below shows, rates of reported chlamydia cases are significantly higher among adolescents and young adults. In 2018, the incidence among people aged 20 to 24 years was 4,068 per 100,000, nearly six times higher than among 30 to 34-year-olds.
Mississippi saw over a 69% rise in the rate of gonorrhea cases between 2014 and 2018, and in 2019, it had the highest rate of reported diagnoses of any state in America. Harrison County was less hard-hit than some other parts of the state. From 2014 to 2018, the county’s gonorrhea infection rate increased by about 44%.
Statewide, adults aged 20 to 24 were diagnosed with gonorrhea at the highest rate, followed by adolescents aged 15 to 19, according to the CDC. Infection rates were similar among men and women.
In 2019, Mississippi had the nation’s third-highest rate of primary and secondary syphilis infections, after Nevada and New Mexico. The state saw a more than 126% increase in the occurrence frequency between 2014 and 2018. Harrison County reported an even higher spike in syphilis diagnoses. Between 2014 and 2018, the county’s syphilis rate increased by 260%.
In 2018, men in Mississippi were diagnosed with syphilis about twice as often as women, the CDC reports. A similar pattern has been seen nationwide, with men who have sex with men being disproportionately impacted. For this group, syphilis testing is especially important.
Cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are on the rise in Mississippi. Since these infections often cause no symptoms, you may inadvertently pass an STD on to your partners. Untreated STDs may also cause serious health complications. Fortunately, Gulfport’s common STDs can be easily treated. To learn if you need treatment, take an at-home STD test or visit one of the region’s many free or low-cost clinics.
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 Gulfport 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 Harrison County Health Department provides free testing for common STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. You can also visit the health department for free HIV testing. To help Gulfport residents stay healthy, the clinic offers vaccinations against HPV, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B. Walk-ins are accepted when scheduling permits, and some services are provided by appointment only.
1102 45th Avenue
Gulfport, MS 39501
Coastal Family Health operates several clinics throughout coastal Mississippi, including one in Gulfport. The nonprofit organization provides comprehensive medical services, including dentistry, optometry and primary care. You can visit the clinic to get tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and other STDs. It accepts private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid, and copayments or coinsurance must be paid at the time of service. If you’re uninsured, you may qualify for sliding fee discounts. Appointments are recommended.
15024 Martin Luther King Boulevard
Gulfport, MS 39501
This nonprofit organization operates nine health centers in Southeast Mississippi. The most convenient location for Gulfport residents is about 50 miles away in Picayune. The clinic provides comprehensive primary care services, including testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. It accepts many insurance plans, including private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE, and offers discounts for uninsured clients. Appointments are recommended.
1911 Read Road
Picayune, MS 39466
The nearest Planned Parenthood clinic is located about 70 miles from Gulfport in Hattiesburg. It offers testing and treatment services for a variety of common infections, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, genital warts, and trichomoniasis. The clinic provides education about safer sex, and you can pick up condoms or female condoms. You can book an appointment online or by calling the clinic. Walk-in clients may be seen if a same-day appointment is available.
214 South 27th Avenue
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
Also located in Hattiesburg, Student Health Services at Moffitt Health Center provides health care services to University of Southern Mississippi students. If you’re enrolled at the school, you can visit the clinic for low-cost STD testing. It also provides free, confidential HIV screenings. Appointments are required, and you need to present your student ID card.
118 College Drive
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
Franklin Primary Health Center, Inc. is a nonprofit health center with several locations in Mobile, Alabama. At its West Mobile Family Medical Center, located just 70 miles east of Gulfport, you can get screened for many common STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. The clinic also offers testing for hepatitis B and C. Discounted fees are available to eligible uninsured clients.
801 South University Boulevard
Mobile, AL 36609