Rock County ranks fourth in Wisconsin in the level of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). First Choice Health Center, a program of Community Action, Inc., is hosting a free testing clinic in Janesville on August 31 to help reduce those numbers.
The racial disparity among those suffering from STIs is even more striking. The Rock County Health Department reports that while African-Americans make up roughly 5% of the county’s population, African-Americans account for 25% of the chlamydia cases, 57% of the gonorrhea cases and 66% of the co-infection cases (two STIs at the same time).
“African-Americans are disproportionately impacted by sexually transmitted infections in the United States,” says Marc Perry, director of community programs at Community Action, Inc. “That’s all the more reason why it is critical that everyone gets tested and knows their status. When you get tested, you take control of your reproductive health.”
First Choice Health Center staff served 1,773 patients in 2015, providing birth control, testing and treatment to men and women of all reproductive ages.
As a way to further promote healthy behavior, First Choice staff members are also reaching out to local school districts, teaching a curriculum that supplements local human growth and development classes. In 2015, 1,355 students completed the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) led by First Choice staff members. The curriculum takes an abstinence-first, education-first approach to help students make informed decisions.
For more information or to schedule an appointment at the August 31 clinic, contact First Choice Health Center at (608) 755-2438 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Testing Clinic Snapshot:
Wednesday, August 31 10am-6pm
First Choice Health Center
1015 Burbank Avenue (corner of Burbank and Center Ave)
Janesville, WI 53546
About Community Action
Community Action is a 100% local, not-for-profit organization, operating a broad spectrum of community programs aimed at preventing and reducing local poverty in Rock and Walworth counties. It operates the Fresh Start program, offers child care, at-risk youth programming, health care, senior benefits counseling, homeownership programs, affordable housing units, home weatherization and rehab, assistance in dealing with a housing crisis, food for area pantries, and shelter for the homeless.