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U.S. News

Maryland: Montgomery STD Clinic Overloaded

June 3, 2009

The number of people tested and treated at Montgomery County's free STD clinic in Silver Spring has shot up 29 percent from 2005 to 2008, putting a strain on the facility. Often all 27 slots for the following day are filled within 15 minutes of 8 a.m., when staff begin making appointments.

About 300 requests for appointments each month cannot be accommodated, though that number could include people who call multiple times, said Barbara Davis, the clinic's nurse administrator. Those who cannot get an appointment are referred to services that charge or to emergency departments, depending on their needs, Davis said.

While state data show that county chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis cases doubled from 2005 to 2007, that reflects "an expansion of screening and improved sensitivity of tests and reporting, rather than an actual increase in disease," said Mary Anderson, a spokesperson for Montgomery County Health and Human Services. The increased demand is probably due to more people becoming aware about the clinic and looking for low-cost care during the economic downturn, she said.

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In its new budget, the County Council approved an additional $100,000 for the STD clinic. The extra money would be used for hiring an additional nurse practitioner and for a potential northern satellite office, said Council member Duchy Trachtenberg (D-At Large), who helped shepherd the funding. Most of the people seeking services were minority women, she said.

Back to other news for June 2009

Adapted from:
Washington Examiner
05.26.2009; Alan Suderman


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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