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Mobile clinic providing free STD testing at Alaska PrideFest

By Shannon Ballard 7:25 PM June 23, 2016
ANCHORAGE –

Each year Alaska continually ranks high, if not the worst, when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases.

New numbers out by the state on Thursday are moving in the right direction. They show the chlamydia infection rate in Alaska has decreased by 2.7 percent since 2013.

Gonorrhea cases are also down slightly.

But according to the Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), a lot of people are still at risk, including members of the LGBT community.

“The gay population is at a high risk for HIV and if you have another STD it also increased your risk for getting or transmitting HIV,” Janet Johnston, a DHHS clinical service supervisor, said.

On Saturday, during the Alaska PrideFest celebration, DHHS is mobilizing on the Park Strip to provide free STD testing.

 

A quick finger prick and urine sample will help people find out if they have HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, or chlamydia.

Johnston says it’s important to know your status.

“Its important if you are positive that you get treatment so you reduce the likelihood of actually converting to full blown AIDS. Its also very important not to transmit the disease to somebody else,” Johnston said.

Monday is national HIV testing day.

If anyone couldn’t make it to PrideFest, or didn’t want to get tested that day, they can stop by the downtown DHSS clinic between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Monday for the same free testing.

KTVA 11′s Shannon Ballard can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.

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