Since 2013, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis have all sharply increased – with more than two million of these infections reported in 2017 alone.

Image/CDC

Each April, federal, state and local health departments observe STD Awareness Month to spread the word about what sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are and how they impact people’s lives, as well as to reach communities about why it’s so important to prevent, test for, and treat these infections.

The theme for this year is  is “Talk. Test. Treat.”

In Pinellas County, the health department has STD clinics and programs for confidential testing and treatment at five of its health department locations. Those who are tested may choose to have notifications sent via a text message.

To encourage more Pinellas residents to get tested and treated for STDs, DOH-Pinellas is providing no-cost testing at its clinics on these Wednesdays: April 10 and April 24.

Hours are 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at these locations for the no-cost testing on April 10 and April 24:

  • Tarpon Springs: 301 S. Disston Ave.
  • Clearwater: 310 N. Myrtle Ave.
  • Mid-County: 8751 Ulmerton Rd., Largo
  • Pinellas Park: 6350 76th Ave. N.
  • St. Petersburg: 205 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N.

DOH-Pinellas will also offer no-cost STD tests during the Spring Health Fling from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, at Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Dr., Largo. The event is sponsored by the Suncoast Osteopathic Foundation to celebrate and promote healthy lifestyles. It includes live music, bounce houses, children’s activities, entertainment and educational experiences for family members of all ages. Admission to the park is free and food and beverages are available for purchase. For information, go to https://www.suncoastosteopathic.org/.