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Posted on: March 28, 2023

SJBPH’s sexual health, cancer screening, immunizations clinics important resources in Southwest CO

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Sexual health is an integral component of overall health and wellness across a lifespan. San Juan Basin Public Health’s clinic programs provide key services to help you make informed decisions about your health, including:

  • Wellness exams
  • Risk reduction counseling and testing
  • Sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment
  • HPV and hepatitis immunizations
  • Pregnancy testing/Plan B
  • Harm reduction/overdose prevention tools like naloxone and fentanyl test strips
  • Free condoms
  • Breast and cervical cancer screening
  • Back-to-school, travel, COVID-19 and other vaccines

Over the last 20 years, SJBPH’’s clinic has provided much-needed services in Southwest Colorado – an area that experiences limited health care options and limited health insurance choices. The dedicated clinic staff strives to make services as accessible as possible by offering timely appointments for services and screenings. Language interpretation is available for Spanish-speaking patients and SJBPH has gained a long-standing trust among patients who speak Spanish.

STIs are a concern in Colorado where rates for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have increased dramatically since 2013. The presence of an STI also increases one’s risk for getting HIV. SJBPH provides testing for these STIs, HIV and hepatitis C. Treatment may also be available with SJBPH, depending on the diagnosis. Over the past year, La Plata County has been put on an alert for significant increases in syphilis cases by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. SJBPH continues to serve as a primary resource for much of the community to access STI testing and only one of three locations locally that offer syphilis treatment.

SJBPH’s sexual health clinic also provides pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV. This prevention tool is a daily medicine to prevent HIV among people at high risk for infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV infection when taken daily. Studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 99% when taken appropriately. Rural areas have been disproportionately affected by lack of access to PrEP, so expanding access can help reduce rates of HIV infection in our region. SJBPH can serve uninsured patients through a program that pays for visits, labs, and ensures free medication for both insured and uninsured patients, eliminating the financial burden that affects many people.

SJBPH’s sexual health clinic strives to make its services accessible and easy to use by providing confidential one-stop care services for 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 taking 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.

Another offering of SJBPH’s clinic services is free cervical and breast cancer screening through the CDPHE Cancer Prevention and Early Detection program. For those with abnormal pap tests, SJBPH provides onsite colposcopies, a test to diagnose cervical precancer or cancer. By offering easy access to this specialized service at SJBPH, patients can access recommended testing and address treatment needs in a timely manner through careful case management. Those with breast or cervical cancer may also qualify for the Colorado Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Program to cover treatment expenses.

The SJBPH Immunizations Clinic covers routine childhood and adult immunizations, travel immunizations and other vaccines like influenza, COVID-19 and Mpox. The Immunizations Clinic is a federally funded vaccines for children program that provides vaccinations to children regardless of ability to pay. Children ages 0 to 18 years old may qualify if they are Health First Colorado (Medicaid) eligible, Native American/Native Alaskan, have no health insurance coverage or are underinsured such as instances where health insurance does not cover vaccine services or there is a vaccine cap. Adults may also be eligible for low-cost vaccines through the Section 317 grants program if they are underinsured or uninsured.

SJBPH’s services are available to all, no matter a person’s religion, race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, number of pregnancies or marital status. Call the clinic for more information or to make an appointment at 335-2015 or visit https://sjbpublichealth.org/9/Clinic-Services.

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