IDAHO — Central District Health (CDH) is offering free sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing at certain locations throughout the month of June.
The health district usually holds free testing clinics in December but had to put it on pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This last December we discussed it, and with the pandemic, we decided it wasn’t the best time to do it. We can get some more people in and get a better swath of people in here if we waited a little bit,” said Ryan Atwood, an Assistant Physician at CDH. “With the pandemic hopefully starting to die down and people returning more to normal, definitely a good time to get it done.”
CDH will have tests available at its three clinics in Boise, Mountain Home, and McCall. Appointments are required.
“If you’re going to be sexually active, just be responsible about it, and make sure your partners are safe and getting tested. This is one of the things that can linger or be around, and you don’t know that you have it. You can be without symptoms," Atwood said.
According to CDH, STIs are on the rise with more than 3,000 reported in 2019.
“We have seen a rise in syphilis. That’s been in here Idaho as well as the nation. It definitely is one on the rise. It can be treated, all of these STDs can be treated, but syphilis is the one those that if it’s left untreated, it can cause serious issues long term,” Atwood said.
CDH said treatment can be offered free of charge if necessary, and all visits are confidential.
“Those testings are free. If we talk about other things, there may be a charge involved, but you can make another appointment for that. We’re public health, we care about these things that we can prevent,” Atwood explained.
Below you’ll find contact information and dates of clinics.
- In Boise, the appointments will be available throughout the weekdays
- In Mountain Home on June 2 and 16
- In McCall on June 29
In Ada County, call 208-327-7400, in Valley County, call 208-630-8002, and in Elmore County, call 208-587-4407. Boise County residents may make an appointment in Ada County or the CDH clinic. You can also find more here.