LBGT Wellness Services
Hilltop Family Medical Center
Eastside Family Medical Clinic
Parkland Family Medical Center
Lakewood Family Medical Clinic
Federal Way Clinic
Tacoma Health Center
Federal Way Health Center
Puyallup Health Center
Federal Way Public Health Center
Tacoma Medical Clinic
Communicable Disease Control
Tacoma, Washington, is a midsize urban port city and the seat of Pierce County, where the two most reported STDs are chlamydia and gonorrhea. While most areas list syphilis as the third-most reported disease, the higher rate of herpes infections in Pierce County puts it in third place ahead of syphilis, which is listed as fourth.
Statewide, there were 34,754 cases of chlamydia reported in 2018, which translated to a 7% increase over the previous year and an infection rate of 467.9 per 100,000 residents. Chlamydia rates were highest among women, especially those aged 15-24. Of this total, Pierce County had 5,947 cases for a rate of 681.7, which was up from 5,434 in 2017. In preliminary numbers for January 2020, the Tacoma-Pierce Health Department already had 542 reports of chlamydia infections compared to the 534 reported in January 2019.
Washington reported 11,215 gonorrhea cases in 2018, which was 23% higher than in 2017 and translated to an infection rate of 151 per 100,000 residents. Rates were highest among men aged 25 to 34, with males having higher infection rates than females in most age groups. Pierce County accounted for 1,923 cases of the state’s total, resulting in an infection rate of 220.5. This marked another increase in a county where reported gonorrhea cases have nearly tripled since 2012, despite a slight dip in cases from 1,363 in 2015 to 1,196 in 2016.
The CDC has limited information on herpes because it isn’t a nationally notifiable condition. However, it reports that infections of the herpes simplex virus appear to be increasing among young adults. In Washington, there were 1,612 reported herpes infections in 2018. More than a quarter of these occurred in Pierce County, where herpes cases increased from 409 in 2017 to 482 in 2018, correlating to a rate of 55.3 per 100,000 residents. These numbers were much higher than primary and secondary syphilis cases, of which Washington had 809 for a rate of 10.9, and Pierce County had 66 for a rate of 7.6. Preliminary numbers in 2019 and 2020 seemed to show herpes cases climbing and syphilis infections declining.
Many people who have an STD are unaware because symptoms aren’t always obvious, but they can still infect others with the disease and put themselves at risk for long-term health issues. Getting tested is the only way to know for sure whether an STD is present, which is why numerous resources in Tacoma and the surrounding communities offer low-cost or free STD testing.
The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s STD/HIV Clinic has low-cost STD testing with a sliding fee scale available. It provides standard or rapid HIV, hepatitis C, syphilis, and chlamydia/gonorrhea tests for $30 each. The clinic also offers hepatitis A and B vaccines for $20 each. Appointments are required and can be made during office hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Clinic hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to noon; and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
3629 South D Street
Tacoma, WA 98418
Planned Parenthood operates the Tacoma Health Center, offering HIV testing and genital warts, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes screening and treatment. It also supplies STD/safer sex education, male and female condoms, dental dams, and HPV vaccines. Uninsured patients may qualify for a lower fee scale or state-funded program. Clinic hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Thursdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
1515 Martin Luther King Junior Way
Tacoma, WA 98405
The Tacoma Health Center, part of Cedar River Clinics, does low-cost syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and rapid HIV testing. It also provides treatment for sexually transmitted infections and safer sex education. Tacoma Health accepts private insurance and Medicaid and offers a sliding fee scale to uninsured, low-income individuals. Clinic hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
1401 Martin Luther King Way, Suite A
Tacoma, WA 98405
Sea Mar Community Health Centers operates the Tacoma Medical Clinic and offers low-cost testing and treatment for STDs. It performs conventional HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and hepatitis B and C tests, and hepatitis A and B vaccines. Sea Mar Community Health accepts private insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare, and has a sliding fee scale for low-income patients without insurance. Clinic hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
1112 South Cushman Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98405
Community Health Care’s Eastside Family Medical Clinic provides low-cost testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, including syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and hepatitis B. Conventional and rapid HIV tests, as well as hepatitis A and B vaccines and PrEP, are available, as well. Community Health Care accepts private insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare, with a sliding fee scale for uninsured individuals. Clients must call for an appointment. Clinic hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
1708 East 44th Street
Tacoma, WA 98404
Multiple Tacoma locations
Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center offers free confidential and anonymous HIV testing and STI screenings for syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and hepatitis C to anyone. It also helps clients access PrEP and assists with paying for medications. Services are by appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please allow a 21-day window between the last possible exposure and the appointment date to maintain test accuracy. Multilingual health navigators are available.
517 East Pike Street
Seattle, WA 98122
206-860-6969, Extension 2