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Tuscaloosa County Health Department
Maude L Whatley Health Center
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.
|Learn More About At-Home STD Testing|
Tuscaloosa is the seat of and largest city in Tuscaloosa County, which is part of the West Central District of Alabama. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are the three most reported STDs in Tuscaloosa County, where infection rates of all three are the highest in the district.
After a small decrease of less than 1% in 2018, chlamydia cases in Alabama rose by over 4.5% in 2019 and more than 68% of the total cases were among women. The West Central District of Alabama only accounted for 8.5% of the state’s total, but diagnoses in Tuscaloosa County made up nearly 57% of the district’s total. However, reports of chlamydia infections have shown some improvement, with the numbers in 2019 decreasing by almost 18% compared to 2017 when the county represented nearly 59% of the district’s total. This marked the second consecutive year the county has recorded a drop in chlamydia diagnoses after seeing a drop of about 3% in 2018.
Gonorrhea cases in Alabama increased by over 9% in 2019 after nearly an identical jump in 2018. In the West Central District and Tuscaloosa County, gonorrhea diagnoses fell. While the district also saw an increase in 2018 of about 7%, reported cases dropped again by over 5% in 2019. The same was true in Tuscaloosa County, where an increase of about 10% in 2018 was followed by a decrease of over 6% in 2019. The similarities make sense considering Tuscaloosa County is the largest county in the district and historically makes up slightly more than 50% of the district’s total reported cases.
Primary and secondary syphilis infections saw an increase of more than 32% statewide in 2019, but the spikes in the West Central District and Tuscaloosa County were much more severe. The district saw P&S syphilis cases rise over 119%, and the county’s cases jumped nearly 115% in 2019. What’s even more concerning is the surge of congenital syphilis cases seen across the state, which went from two in 2013 to 20 in 2020, representing a 900% increase in a preventable disease that infects infants before or at birth.
If you’re sexually active, you need STD testing to make sure you’re STD-free because even asymptomatic STDs can be passed to your partners and cause serious, potentially life-threatening health issues. You can turn to the many resources in and around Tuscaloosa that offer low-cost or free STD testing to help stop the spread in Alabama communities.
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 in Tuscaloosa 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:
You can receive free, confidential testing and treatment for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, and trichomoniasis at the Tuscaloosa County Health Department’s STD Clinic. It also provides free condoms and HPV and hepatitis A and B vaccines. Tuscaloosa CHD accepts Medicaid and Medicare and offers a sliding fee scale. It’s open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
2350 Hargrove Road East
Tuscaloosa, AL 35405
FHHS provides patient-centered prevention, testing, medical care, and case management services. They offer confidential, free rapid testing for HIV and low-cost chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis testing. FHHS serves the entire western Alabama and eastern Mississippi areas with tests provided in-office and at community testing events. They accept Medicaid, Medicare, and most private insurances. Services are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but the clinic closes from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. daily and does not currently accept walk-ins.
2720 6th Street
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
The Whatley Health Center has an on-site laboratory to provide low-cost chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, and HIV tests, and HPV and hepatitis A/B vaccines. The health center accepts most private insurance plans, Medicare, and Medicaid and offers a sliding fee discount if you qualify. There’s a nominal fee of $20 but eligible patients may receive up to a 100% discount. Appointments are required. The operating hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
2731 Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Planned Parenthood operates the Birmingham Center, located 47 miles from Tuscaloosa, and offers HIV testing and herpes, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, bacterial vaginosis, genital warts, and trichomoniasis testing and treatment. It supplies condoms and STD/safer sex education. Payment is expected when you receive services, and many insurance plans and Medicaid are accepted. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Language interpretation services are available by telephone with advanced notice.
1019 1st Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35203
Cahaba Medical Care in Centreville, situated about 34 miles southeast of Tuscaloosa, offers low-cost chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and hepatitis C testing. It accepts all insurance plans, Medicaid, and Medicare. If you don’t have insurance, you may qualify for a sliding fee scale or its hardship program based on your income and family size. The medical center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but it closes for lunch from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. daily.
405 Belcher Street
Centreville, AL 35042