Updated: June 11, 2021 Reviewed by Adel Karsou, clinical lab scientist
According to data published by the Florida Department of Health, the number of reported cases of bacterial STDs in the state is at the highest it’s been since 2006. In 2018, there were 148,553 reported cases of bacterial STDs in Florida, 13,909 of which were reported in Orange County, where Orlando is located. The three most common STDs in Orlando are chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
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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.
Between 2006 and 2018, the number of reported cases of chlamydia in Orange County increased by 113%, from 4,657 to 9,925. The number of reported cases in 2018 corresponds to a rate of 724.2 per 100,000 people, which is considerably higher than the statewide average of 501.3. Among females in the county, the rate of this infection is 914.3, compared to the statewide rate among females of 641.2. While chlamydia is more likely to be diagnosed in females, it affected approximately 3,546 males in the county in 2018, a 292% increase over the number of reported cases in males in 2006.
Cases of Chlamydia in Orange County and Floriday by Gender, 2012-2018
Between 2006 and 2018, the number of reported gonorrhea cases in Orange County has seen drastic changes. There were 2,469 reported cases in 2006, but by 2012, that number had dropped by 32% to 1,668. Between 2012 and 2018, the number of cases increased by nearly 77% to 2,948. This corresponds with a rate of 215.1 cases per 100,000 people, which is considerably higher than the statewide average of 156.3. Males account for about 65% of the county’s reported cases for a rate of 283.8, versus the rate of 193.1 among females statewide. While the rate of this infection among females is lower, the average rate among Orange County females between 2016 and 2018 was 151.4, which is higher than the rate of 117.9 among females statewide in the same time period.
Cases of Gonorrhea in Orange County and Floriday by Gender, 3 Year Groups, 2007-2018
In Florida, there were 10,721 total cases of syphilis in 2018, which corresponds to a rate of 51.2 per 100,000 people. In Orange County, the rate is considerably higher at 75.6, making it the third-highest county in the state. The county accounted for about 10% of the reported cases in the state in 2018, with a total of 1,036 cases. Nearly 9 out of 10 cases were diagnosed in males, who are affected at a rate of 136.3, which is notably higher than the statewide rate among males of 86.3.
Oftentimes, STDs have subtle symptoms that are easily missed, and in some cases, no symptoms at all. Unfortunately, most STDs will not go away on their own, and antibiotic treatment is the only way to clear them up. STDs that go undetected and untreated can have serious long-term complications, including certain types of cancer, infertility, birth defects, and HIV.
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 Orlando 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:
Central Health Center
Central Health Center is operated by the Florida Department of Health and provides a variety of services, including immunizations and screenings for STDs. Appointments are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis, and patients must come an hour before closing to receive same-day screening. Medicaid, Medicare, and health insurance are accepted, and a sliding fee schedule is available for self-pay patients. All lab and test results are only given in person during clinic hours. The clinic is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
CAN Community Health is a nonprofit organization that provides free anonymous STD and HIV testing for Orlando residents. STD screening is administered by trained counselors who use a quick, simple test that involves either finger stick collection or a blood draw. Results are given over the telephone and are typically available within two weeks. To make an appointment, patients should call the clinic during normal business hours. In addition to its permanent location, the center provides several mobile outreach testing locations. Clinic hours are Monday – Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., and Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
26Health is a community clinic that offers medical and behavioral health services and specializes in LGBT+ health services. This clinic provides free rapid HIV and hepatitis C testing, as well as free STD testing. Rapid HIV results are available within 15 minutes, and referrals are provided to patients who test positive. Services are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. Medical service hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
801 N. Magnolia Ave. Orlando, FL 32803 321-800-2922 26health.org
Orange Blossom Family Health
Orange Blossom Family Health provides primary and preventative medical services with an on-site laboratory and pharmacy services. This low-cost clinic provides free rapid HIV testing, as well as testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Patients are accepted on a walk-in basis, ormay call the clinic to schedule an appointment for faster service. Health insurance is accepted, and a sliding fee schedule is offered to those without insurance. The clinic is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
232 N. Orange Blossom Tr. Orlando, FL 32805 407-428-5751 Obfh.org
Miracle of Love, Inc.
Miracle of Love is a community-based organization that provides an array of free and low-cost services, including support groups, pregnancy support for women with high-risk pregnancies, case management, and HIV and STD testing. Screenings are offered on Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., and no appointment is necessary. Patients may be screened for syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Results are sent to the Florida Department of Health and are generally available within two weeks. The clinic also offers rapid syphilis testing with results available within 10 minutes.
MinuteClinic is a low-cost clinic located within CVS that provides treatment for minor illnesses, injuries and skin conditions, as well as vaccinations and STD screenings for those age 18 and over. STDs that patients can be screened for include chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis, and syphilis. Those who test positive for chlamydia and gonorrhea can receive treatment at this clinic, while those who test positive for other STDs may be directed to another healthcare provider. Walk-ins are accepted, and wait times vary. Some clinics allow patients to book appointments for faster service.