Nashua City offers free testing for sexually transmitted infections on Valentine’s Day

Granite Staters can be tested for a range of sexually transmitted infections free of charge at Nashua City’s fourth annual Valentine’s Day testing event.

The event is hosted by the city’s Public Health and Community Services Division.

Sascha Potzka, a public health nurse in the city of Nashua, said testing is important because people may not know if they are living with an infection.

“A lot of people are asymptomatic, especially with chlamydia and gonorrhea – around 50% of people don’t experience any symptoms,” she said. The same goes for HIV — many people may not experience symptoms at first, she said.

The rapid HIV test takes about a minute, Potzka said. The hepatitis C test takes 20 minutes and the sites will also offer tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.

Potzka said testing is especially important as cases of sexually transmitted infections continue to rise.

“Especially for people who have a new partner, you don’t know if you had something from a previous relationship or if your partner had something, so the best thing to do is get tested and protect yourself,” she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rates sexually transmitted infections hit record highs in the United States for six consecutive years last April.

The city will offer testing on Monday, February 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the HEARTS Peer Support Center parking lot on Pine Street, and from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Nashua Soup Kitchen.

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