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Columbus Public Health revamps sexual health clinic

Columbus Public Health Sexual Health and Wellness Center.JPG
Columbus Public Health
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Columbus Public Health
The Sexual Health and Wellness Center is located within Columbus Public Health's main building at 240 Parsons Avenue.

To help combat a surge in syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections, Columbus Public Health has revamped its sexual health clinic.

More than 2,500 patients have visited the Sexual Health and Wellness Center at Columbus Public Health since it re-opened in June.

The clinic offers same-day STI testing, PrEP for HIV prevention, pregnancy tests, birth control and more.

Program manager and nurse practitioner Stacie Biffle-Quimba said knowing your sexual health status is important.

"This is a place where men, women and teens can all come with or without parental consent," Biffle-Quimba said. "No one is turned away for inability to pay, so someone could come in and they might not have any income and they can get whatever services they need."

Columbus Public Health recorded around 1,400 cases in 2021, up from 613 cases in 2019. In that same time frame, syphilis cases in Columbus women tripled to 376.

Biffle-Quimba said they have seen an increase in inpatient load at the clinic, but they have also been able to go out into the community and do more testing events with their mobile testing unit.

"I think part of the increase in numbers could potentially be that we're able to get more people seen and be able to test more people so that we're able to get them treated appropriately," she said.

Biffle-Quimba recalled one patient in particular who was able to get the help she needed despite her lacking a Social Security card and the ability to speak English. "She was able to not only get tested and find out that, in fact, she did have an infection, she was also able to start birth control that day, because she already had children at home and knew that financially, she could not support another child," Biffle-Quimba said.

The clinic is located within Columbus Public Health at 240 Parsons Avenue. The clinic is open during the following hours:

Monday: 8 a.m. — 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 10 a.m. — 6:15 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m. — 12 p.m.
Thursday/Friday: 8 a.m. — 4:15 p.m.

For appointments, call (614) 645-7774 or click here for more information.

Matthew Rand is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides with Ann Fisher.