Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are the three most reported STDs in Panama City Beach, part of Bay County. Unlike other parts of Florida, Bay County has had fewer STD infections with numerous ups and downs over the past 10 years, including an increase in chlamydia and syphilis but a decrease in gonorrhea diagnoses in 2019.
Over the past decade, Bay County saw several dips and spikes in chlamydia cases, including an increase from 724 in 2018 to 749 in 2019. However, this is only 18 more cases than what was reported 10 years ago. Despite a high of 855 cases in 2015, the county experienced an increase of less than 2.5% in chlamydia infections since 2010. Cases among women were more than double those among men in 2019, with 503 females compared to 244 males. Nevertheless, female cases were lower in 2019 than they were a decade ago, while male cases increased. Overall, female infections dropped nearly 8% between 2010 and 2019, while male diagnoses increased by almost 32%, with 2019 marking a 10-year high.
Bay County recorded 317 gonorrhea cases in 2019, a notable dip from 338 in 2018. The county recorded an overall increase of nearly 61% over the last decade, which included a low of 95 in 2013 that spiked to 163 the following year. While many areas around the nation documented more gonorrhea infections in men than in women, in Bay County, female cases often outnumbered those among men. There were 186 gonorrhea infections among men in 2019 compared to 130 female cases, although women had the lead in 2013 through 2010, 2015, and 2017. Men had a marked 377% increase between the low of 39 in 2013 and 2019’s statistics, while infections in women increased about 141% during this same period.
Syphilis cases are relatively low in Bay County compared to many areas in Florida, but diagnoses are on the rise. The county had 15 infectious syphilis cases in 2019, up from 10 in 2018, which marked a 1,400% increase over the one case reported in 2010 and 2011. The 33 early syphilis cases documented in 2019 marked a 3,200% increase from the one case recorded in 2010 and 2011, and the 51 total syphilis diagnoses in all stages in 2019 marked a 920% increase over the five cases reported in 2010 and 2011. Syphilis infections of all types remain higher among men than women in Bay County.
Even if you don’t experience symptoms from an STD, you still put yourself at risk of long-term health issues that can affect your fertility, brain, organs, and vision the longer you go untreated. You can also easily pass along an STD to a partner unknowingly. The only way to know your STD status is to get tested, and you can find medical facilities in Panama City Beach and nearby communities that offer low-cost testing and treatment.
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 Panama City Beach 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:
In Bay County, the Florida DOH provides free HIV and hepatitis testing and low-cost chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and syphilis testing and treatment. It also offers HPV and hepatitis A and B vaccines and free condoms. The DOH accepts Medicaid, Medicare, and most insurance and has a sliding fee scale based on your financial eligibility. STD services are confidential and by appointment only. Clinic hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
597 West 11th Street
Panama City, FL 32401
PanCare Health Medical operates Panama City Medical and provides care to anyone, regardless of your insurance status or ability to pay. It offers a sliding fee scale if you’re uninsured/underinsured and income-eligible. Nominal fees for medical services start at $25. Lab services include HIV, hepatitis, and STD screenings. Walk-ins are welcome during clinic hours, which are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
2309 East 15th Street
Panama City, Florida 32405
American Family Care in Panama City Beach offers on-site lab testing on a walk-in basis. You can request affordable STD testing with results typically within a few minutes to a couple of days, depending on the type of test(s) performed. Clinic hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.
15415 Panama City Beach Parkway
Panama City Beach, FL 32413
ProHealth’s testing facility located 30 miles away in Santa Rosa Beach provides testing for all major STDs. You can walk in and get any test you want, with most test results processed in about 72 hours. Pricing varies based on tests ordered, including chlamydia and gonorrhea combo tests or herpes tests for $105, HIV tests for $78, and syphilis tests for $65. You can also order two different full panel STD tests covering multiple common STDs for $180 or $235. Hepatitis vaccines are $84 to $140 each.
4942 Highway 98, Suite #23
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
The closest Planned Parenthood is 90 miles away at the Tallahassee Health Center. It performs HIV testing and chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, genital warts, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis testing and treatment. It also provides HPV vaccines and male and female condoms. It’s recommended that you make an appointment, but walk-ins are welcome. Clinic hours are Mondays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
2618 West Tennessee Street
Tallahassee, FL 32304