SA Metro Health STD / HIV clinic remains open to provide resources to the community
SAN ANTONIO – It’s National Public Health Week and a big part of being healthy is getting the treatment you need.
Sian Elmore, health program manager at the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, provides an update on the Metro Health STD / HIV program, which is open and ready to provide educational services.
How has COVID-19 affected operations and how exactly has it adapted?
“We have remained open throughout the pandemic, however, with changes,” Elmore said. “And so we do temperature checks at the door. We ask the protocol questions with respect to COVID: whether or not someone has traveled or has come into contact with someone who has tested positive or whether they have tested positive themselves.
SA Metro Health had to remove the chairs from its external waiting area, only allowing five people in at a time. The group adapted and offered telemedicine, where clinicians can speak with the patient before seeing him.
“But we have been successful in providing the same level of service and care that we provided before COVID,” Elmore said.
Since the start of the pandemic, have you seen an increase in the rates of STDs?
“Well, actually the HIV has gone down and that’s all preliminary data at this point,” Elmore explained. “We do not yet have the official figures for that date. But preliminary data tells us that HIV declined from 2019 to 2020. However, syphilis has increased, along with congenital syphilis, quite significantly.