Sexual health is an integral component of overall health and wellness across a lifespan.
San Juan Basin Public Health’s clinic provides key services to help you make informed decisions about your reproductive life plan and sexual health, including:
Wellness exams.Contraceptive methods.Risk reduction counseling, testing.Sexually transmitted infection treatment.HVP and hepatitis immunizations. Religion, race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, number of pregnancies or marital status aside, our services are available to all.
Over the past 20 years, SJBPH’s clinic has provided much-needed services in Southwest Colorado – an area that experiences limited health care options as well as limited health insurance choices. The dedicated clinic staff strive to make services as accessible as possible by providing walk-in appointments for most services and same-day care for most screenings. ¿Tu habla español? SJBPH provides language translation for Spanish-speaking patients.
This past month, SJBPH’s sexual health clinic has added an important addition to its prevention services; pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV, or PrEP. This refers to a daily medicine to prevent HIV among people at high risk for infection.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when taken daily, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV infection. Studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 99% when taken daily. Rural areas have been disproportionately affected by lack of access to PrEP, and so expanding access can help reduce rates of HIV infection in our region. SJBPH can serve patients through a specific program that pays for visits, labs and ensures free medication for both insured and uninsured patients, eliminating the financial burden that affects many people.
Sexually transmitted infections are a concern in Colorado, with rates increasing dramatically in chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis since 2013. The presence of an STI also increases one’s risk for getting HIV.
Reproductive and sexual health is a key component of one’s general health and well being. SJBPH’s sexual health clinic strives to make its services accessible and easy to use by providing confidential one-stop care services for family planning, STI testing, and STI prevention care and treatment so that our clients can achieve their highest potential for health. Using condoms, getting regular STI and HIV testing, and using PrEP are essential steps to preventing HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Getting these services is standard care and should be discussed as part of annual checkups. In providing these services, SJBPH hopes to help the people we serve reach their highest potential for health.
Call the clinic for more information or to make an appointment at 335-2013 or visit sjbpublichealth.org/sexualhealthclinic/.
Claire Ninde is director of communications for San Juan Basin Public Health.