GCHD to launch Healthy Concepts Clinic this month
When it comes to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), the risk is in not knowing. Galveston County Health District (GCHD) will soon offer a new tool to help residents take ownership of their sexual health.
GCHD will open Healthy Concepts Clinic, a public health clinic with locations in Texas City and Galveston, in June. Staff will offer STD, HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis C, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea testing and treatment, along with Tuberculosis case management and treatment.
“We are excited to offer these vital services to the community,” said GCHD CEO Kathy Barroso. “We’ve seen an increase in STDs in Galveston County in recent years and the Healthy Concepts Clinic is one way we can reach the community to offer testing, as well as education and prevention counseling.”The Texas City clinic opens June 19 and will be open Wednesdays, 1-5 p.m. at 9850-B Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Suite B103. The Galveston clinic opens Monday, June 24 and will be open Mondays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Island Community Center, 4700 Broadway, Suite F101. Walk-ins are welcome at both.
All Healthy Concepts Clinic services are private and confidential. There is a $10 administrative fee with cash and credit accepted. Treatment is free of charge. Clients will not be asked to show proof of insurance.
Galveston County has 1,025 people living with HIV, ranking 11th statewide, according to the 2017 HIV Surveillance Report. The county also ranks 12th in AIDS diagnoses with 20 and 13th in HIV diagnoses with 47. Those diagnoses were reported for Dec. 31, 2017-June 30, 2018. The number of people living with HIV includes records through Dec. 31, 2017.
Galveston County ranks 16th with 1,646 Chlamydia cases, 17th with 445 Gonorrhea cases and 18th with 78 Syphilis cases, according to 2017 STD Surveillance reports. All rankings were reported for Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2017.
“We hope our Healthy Concepts Clinic will help us bring those numbers down. When a patient comes into the clinic, they will register and fill out a risk assessment. Then they’ll meet with a nurse, who will complete a more in-depth risk assessment,” said Randy Valcin, GCHD director of public health surveillance programs. “From there, testing will take place.”
Both clinics will offer low-risk and asymptomatic clients an express evaluation and treatment option including urine testing for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia and a blood draw for Hepatitis C. Results for Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Hepatitis C testing will be available in four-five days.
Rapid testing will be available for HIV and Syphilis testing with preliminary results available within just a few minutes of the blood draw. Confirmed results will be available in about eight days. Pregnancy tests will also be available.
“Patients who are experiencing symptoms during the visit will immediately receive treatment,” Valcin said.
For more information, call 409-938-2253 or visit www.gchd.org/STD.