AHF Opens Wellness Center in South Beach Offering Free HIV & STD Testing

Florida, designed to make screening for sexually-transmitted diseases accessible and affordable, as well as to promote sexual health screenings as part of routine health care for all sexually-active people

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has recently opened its South Beach Wellness Center—its ninth Wellness Center in the U.S.—which offers free sexually-transmitted disease (STD) screenings, including HIV testing.  This newest location is at a specialized clinic on the floor above the Out of the Closet Thrift Store at 1510 Alton Rd. in Miami Beach, Florida and is open on Monday and Thursday evenings from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Walk-ins are welcome.  More information can be found at: www.freeSTDcheck.org or by calling 1-877-259-8727.

The AHF Wellness Centers is designed to make testing for STDs accessible, convenient and affordable, as well as to encourage regular sexual health screenings as part of routine health care for all sexually-active people.  Service offered include: free Chlamydia screening and treatment; free gonorrhea screening and treatment; free syphilis screening and treatment; vaccinations for Hepatitis A & B at cost and free HIV testing and linkage to care, if needed.

“We are pleased to be opening this latest AHF Wellness Center in the South Beach area—our 4th in Florida—offering free and low-cost services to the community,” said Albert Ruiz, Deputy Director, Public Health Division, AIDS Healthcare Foundation.  “Our hope is that by offering these services in a friendly, non-threatening venue that is also accessible and affordable, more people in South Beach will consider sexual health screenings a regular part of their health maintenance – like going to the gym and getting a yearly check-up at the dentist.  There is effective treatment for most STDs, so it truly is better to know your status – for your health and for the health of your partner or partners.”

According to the Florida Department of Health, Division of Disease Control, Bureau of Sexually-Transmitted Diseases, the most recent statistics show that 373 cases of infectious syphilis, 8,653 cases of Chlamydia and 2,445 cases of gonorrhea were diagnosed and reported in Miami-Dade County in 2010.  Notably, there is often a significant correlation of HIV infection reported alongside other STDs.  Of the 373 cases of syphilis reported in Miami-Dade in 2010, 172 of those cases—an astounding 46%–presented with HIV co-infection.  Of the 8,653 Chlamydia cases, 204 cases (2.4%) were also diagnosed with HIV.  Of the 2,445 gonorrhea cases, 176 cases (7.2%) of co-infection with HIV were reported.

In addition to the new South Beach location, AHF operates Wellness Centers in Ft. Lauderdale, North Miami Beach, Wilton Manors and Pensacola.  The organization also operates sites in California and Washington D.C.  More information and location information can be found at www.freeSTDcheck.org.

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