Some sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea have been increasing in Onondaga County. The New York State Department of Health’s 2017 Sexually Transmitted Infections Surveillance Report stated that in Onondaga County alone there were 773 gonorrhea and 2,684 chlamydia cases diagnosed that year.
ACR Health is now conducting a three-point test to detect infections more rapidly. The traditional gonorrhea and chlamydia test used urine samples, limiting the test to only pick up infections that came from the urethra. This new test adds mouth and rectum swabs, detecting bacteria in other areas of the body too.
Tyler Lowell, a Syracuse resident, said it’s important to have free STD testing so that everyone gets the opportunity to know what’s happening within their body.
“Having it free and accessible and also anonymous is really important as well, because confidentiality and people feeling like their business stays their business important,” Lowell said.
Other people, like Jo Allen, said the free testing is encouraging for young people.
“All healthcare should be accessible for everybody, especially something like STD testing, it’s so serious so you shouldn’t really have to pay for it,” said Allen.
ACR Health has extended hours for testing from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays only at the Syracuse office, 627 West Genesee Street. With other locations in the state, testing is offered from 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. daily in Utica, Watertown, and Canton offices by appointment or on a walk-in basis.