County infection rates climb

Health advocates recommend regular testing, protection

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Lane County has been experiencing a high volume of sexually transmitted infections. The County Health Ranking for Lane from 2015 describes a 36 percent rise in chlamydia.

According to Planned Parenthood, STIs are “infections that are passed from one person to another during vaginal, anal and oral sex.” They are common, yet often lack symptoms. Anyone involved in sexual interactions with another person can contract an STI.

Planned Parenthood encourages sexually-active people to use barriers, which “cover parts of your genitals, protecting you and your partner from body fluids and some skin-to-skin contact, which can both spread STDs.” Some commonly used barriers include condoms, female condoms and dental dams.

Eugene’s Planned Parenthood offers an appointment-based STI testing for chlamydia, genital warts, gonorrhea, hepatitis C, herpes, HIV, HPV, Molluscum contagiosum, pubic lice, scabies, syphilis and trichomoniasis. There’s an option to bill insurance, as well as insurance compensation for those whose insurance does not cover Planned Parenthood, and for those who are uninsured.

Lane Community College’s Health Clinic offers HIV and hepatitis C testing. The Health Clinic also offers some free gonorrhea and chlamydia testing, specifically for students who are 25 years old and under. These tests are circumstantial and require an appointment.

“We have really affordable STI testing here,” Carly Policha, a registered nurse at Lane’s Health Clinic, said

Students can attend walk-in clinics every Monday from 12:40 p.m. to 4 p.m. or schedule an appointment by calling 541-463-5665. The testing comes with an option to bill insurance. The Health Clinic is in Building 18, room 101 on LCC Main Campus.

Another resource for students is the less-frequent free testing, which is a mutual effort of Eugene’s HIV Alliance and LCC’s Health Clinic. Their free clinics are specifically for HIV and Hepatitis C. The people “most at risk for HIV are: gay/bi men and other men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, and partners of people living with HIV/AIDS,” the HIV Alliance said on their website.

In order to qualify for either of the walk-in clinics, students must not be showing symptoms of an STI. Patients who are experiencing symptoms must instead schedule an appointment. In order to take advantage of the Health Clinic, students have to be enrolled in at least a one-credit class on the main campus.

Lane students are encouraged to take advantage of the sexual health resources offered by the Health Clinic.The next free drop-in clinic is on Tuesday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Building 18, room 101.

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