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Lakeland Primary Care
Lakeland Health Center
Plant City Family Care
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.
Lakeland is nestled in Central Florida’s Polk County, a region that’s been hard-hit by the state’s growing STD epidemic. In recent years, the county has recorded significant increases among the three most common infections — chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
According to the Florida Department of Health, the rate of chlamydia infections in Polk County increased by more than 22% between 2016 and 2019. This is much higher than the 15% increase seen statewide during the same period. Infection rates among Polk County women were about twice as high as among men; this trend is in line with both statewide and national norms. Women may be diagnosed more often due to increased screening, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which means their male sex partners may be underdiagnosed. For this reason, men in Lakeland may want to take an at-home STD test.
Statewide, reported gonorrhea infections increased by more than 25% from 2016 to 2019. Florida Department of Health data shows that Polk County saw a similar rise — about 23% — during those years. As of 2019, Polk County had the sixteenth-highest infection rate of Florida’s 67 counties. In Polk County, both men and women are diagnosed with gonorrhea more frequently, although the increase has been larger among men. From 2016 to 2019, the male infection rate increased by about 34%, compared to just 12% among women. A similar trend has been seen nationwide and may be due to increased screening, the CDC reports.
Infectious syphilis isn’t as common as chlamydia and gonorrhea, but it’s still on the rise in Polk County, according to the Florida Department of Health. The frequency of diagnoses increased by almost 58% between 2016 and 2019. This is a sharper increase than the state as a whole, although Polk is still less affected than some other parts of Florida. For example, in neighboring Hillsborough County, the infection rate is about 51% higher than in Polk. Men make up a disproportionate amount of infectious syphilis cases in Polk County, and in 2019 men were diagnosed about 4.5 times more often than women.
While many common STDs don’t always cause symptoms, they can still cause serious health complications if left untreated. To protect yourself and your partner, get tested. If the cost of STD testing is a concern, visit one of the many free or low-cost clinics in the Lakeland area.
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 Lakeland 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:
As a nonprofit health care corporation, Central Florida Health Care offers affordable primary care services. You can visit its Lakeland Clinic to get tested for STDs and HIV, and if you need treatment, you can pick up prescriptions at the convenient on-site pharmacy. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are accepted when time permits. The clinic accepts many types of health insurance, including Medicaid, Medicare, and private plans, and sliding scale discounts may be available based on your household income.
1129 North Missouri Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33805
The Lakeland Health Center offers comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care services. Its STD services include testing and treating chlamydia, genital warts, herpes, syphilis, and many other common infections. The clinic can also test you for HIV; if you test positive, you’ll be referred to treatment services. All STD services are available by appointment and on a walk-in basis. You can also take advantage of the clinic’s many other services, from pregnancy testing and birth control to cancer screenings. Many health insurance plans are accepted, including Medicaid.
2250 East Edgewood Drive
Lakeland, FL 33803
The local health department operates several clinics in Polk County, including one location in Lakeland. The clinic’s routine STD testing panel includes chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV. This panel costs a minimum of $25, and for clients who test positive, seeing a health care provider for treatment starts at $25. The clinic accepts both Medicaid and private insurance plans. Walk-ins are accepted, although the health department recommends calling for an appointment.
3241 Lakeland Hills Boulevard
Lakeland, FL 33805
Plant City Family Care is operated by Suncoast Community Health Centers, a nonprofit organization and Federally Qualified Health Center. The clinic offers testing for common STDs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, as well as testing for Hepatitis B and HIV. It also provides STD prevention services to help you stay healthy, including vaccines for Hepatitis B and HPV. The clinic is open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and walk-ins and same-day appointments are available.
801 East Baker Street
Plant City, FL 33563
Located in nearby Plant City, Positive Health Alliance is a nonprofit organization that offers confidential testing and treatment for STDs. These services are available to all clients, regardless of their ability to pay. You can access safer sex education to learn how to protect yourself, and the clinic can help you get pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis, if necessary. Positive Health Alliance offers an assortment of other services, including case management and support groups for people diagnosed with HIV.
2005 West Reynolds Street
Plant City, FL 33563
Located about 15 miles east in Winter Haven, Community Care Resources of FL offers free and low-cost STD screenings. You can make an appointment to get free rapid testing for syphilis and HIV, and results are available in about 15 minutes. The clinic also offers testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and C, and herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2. Treatment for some infections is available on-site, but for others, referral to another provider may be required.
7492 Cypress Gardens Boulevard
Winter Haven, FL 33884