Sacramento clinic offering free HIV and STD testing

As California faces a resurgence in sexually transmitted infections, a Sacramento clinic is launching a four-year initiative to provide free testing with same-day results.

According to California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, California ranked first in the nation for the number of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis cases reported in 2019.

Since 1982, Sunburst Projects have provided support to men, women and children affected by HIV and AIDS. Their hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

At the Sunburst Clinic, a walk-in clinic located at 2143 Hurley Way Suite 240, the organization offers free testing and same-day test results in 20 minutes and no appointment is necessary.

It receives funding through the CDC’s “Ending the HIV Epidemic in the United States” initiative, which directs resources to local efforts to achieve health equity.

Jake Bradley-Rowe, executive director of Sunburst Projects, said knowing your HIV status puts you in charge of your health and anyone who is sexually active should get tested regularly.

“I think it’s our responsibility as adults to take the time to take care of our health,” Bradley-Rowe said. “The greatest thing you can do, for your own power within your own health and your own life, is to take a simple 20-minute test.”

According to the California Office of AIDS, Sacramento County sees nearly 160 new HIV diagnoses a year, and some communities are disproportionately affected.

This includes: men who have sex with men, people of color, transitioning youth (under 24), and other subgroups, such as high-risk heterosexuals, high-risk transgender, and injecting drug users.

The CDC recommends everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once.

Children 12 and older can be tested at the Sunburst Clinic without parental consent.

The Sacramento nonprofit will provide free, confidential HIV and STD testing to anyone, regardless of health insurance.

For more information, visit www.sunburstclinic.org.

This story was originally published March 4, 2022 3:30 a.m.

Marcus D. Smith covers black communities for The Sacramento Bee. Marcus is an alumnus of Texas Southern University in Houston. Marcus grew up in Sacramento and is thrilled to be back home after his passion for journalism.

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