DAP Health sexual wellness clinic is offering free human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or sexually transmitted diseases (STI) testing services and treatment as it sees a surge of infections during the pandemic.
“Through the pandemic up until the present day we’ve seen an increase of about 30% of new HIV cases.” said C.J. Tobe, director of Community Health and Sexual Wellness Services for DAP Health, “Over the last 3 months we’ve seen about a double, 50% increase in new syphilis cases.”
For the next six months, you can walk into the clinic or call (760) 323-2118 to schedule an appointment.
Health officials are pushing for people to get checked, to prevent sexually transmitted infections from going untreated. By leaving an STI untreated, it can lead to worsening infections or becomes hard to treat.
The clinic wants people to know everyone is welcome to utilize its services.
“There’s no shame in getting tested for STI's, there’s no shame in having an STI. Those things happen and the great thing is they’re easily curable,” said Trent Broadus, DAP Health Orange Clinic Practitioner.
Treatment is provided for those who test positive for any infection.
The Rapid Start Program is also underway, for anyone who is newly diagnosed with HIV or has fallen out of care, can have access to the necessary medication immediately.
There are also preventative medications, like pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) which is known to help prevent HIV.
Health officials want those who are thinking of heading in to know the clinic serves as a judgment-free zone.