UCo Health offers free STD tests

By on Friday, October 13th, 2023 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

UMATILLA COUNTY – The Umatilla County Public Health Department is offering free tests for sexually transmitted diseases. Commissioner Cindy Timmons said that Public Health Director Joe Fiumara is concerned with the rate of STDs in the county.

“Our STD rates in Umatilla County are climbing,” she said. Our HIV rates are skyrocketing. It has actually grabbed the attention of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control).”

Fiumara reports that over the last four years, UCo Health has seen syphilis diagnoses increase three times. That includes an increase in congenital syphilis, which is caused by children being born to those who have had a lack of treatment during or prior to pregnancy. He added that over the last two years, the number of HIV cases has doubled.

“While overall numbers are still relatively small compared to other diseases (chlamydia, gonorrhea) the increase is troubling as these conditions can be very difficult to treat and manage,” he wrote. “Additionally, we are not convinced that appropriate testing has been happening in the community, and we believe that there are more individuals who are unaware they are infected.”

STD tests through LetsGetChecked are free if ordered through UCo Health. After a five-minute interview, the health department will place the order and the test will be delivered discretely and directly to the patient’s home. The test is then returned in a postage-paid envelope and UCo Health will contact the person and help arrange for treatment if needed.

UCo Health can also provide people with a way to notify sexual partners anonymously. For more information about the testing, call 541-278-6290 or visit https://ucohealth.net/sti-testing-treatment.