Hey Milwaukee! It’s April, which means it’s once again Sexually Transmitted Infection Awareness Month. That’s good news for us, because Milwaukee has some of the highest rates of STIs in the country. As a matter of fact, the Milwaukee area ranked first in the nation for new gonorrhea infections, and fourth for new chlamydia infections. We also have some of the highest rates of HIV among men of color under the age of 25.
I’m here with your yearly reminder to go get tested! In addition to always using barrier methods for STI prevention, testing is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your partner(s). Sexually active adults really should get tested every year, and not all healthcare providers automatically include STI testing in your yearly physical. You may have to ask for it specifically, or seek it outside of your regular doctor’s office. Additionally, you should get tested before starting any new sexual relationships, even if it’s been less than a year since your last test. Some insurance companies won’t pay for certain tests, or won’t pay for testing more than once a year. And if you don’t have insurance, tests can be prohibitively expensive at your regular healthcare facility. Fortunately for you, I’ve rounded up a bunch of local resources that offer free and low-cost testing. You’re welcome!
1240 East Brady St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Commonly known as BESTD, the Brady East STD Clinic is a non-profit founded 45 years ago in 1974. They have been continuously in operation, focusing their care on men who have sex with men (though they are open to any man seeking care). They have limited hours, and services are offered on a first come, first served basis. All services are free.
Mondays and Tuesdays, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
- Syphilis, hepatitis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea testing and treatment
- Hepatitis A and B vaccinations for gay or bisexual men
- STI diagnosis and treatment by a clinician for men
- HIV Testing (rapid test and Ag/Ab test)
- HIV/STD Counseling
3251 N. Holton St.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212
Holton Street Clinic has been in operation since 1983, and serves more than 1,200 people per year between patients seen in the clinic and at numerous public outreach sites. Cost depends on the service provided (see below for more information). Appointments are scheduled ahead of time, and wait times are minimal. Holton Street Clinic’s mission is to provide specialized healthcare to all populations.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Alternating Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Various evenings – Outreach testing offered at local bars throughout SE Wisconsin. Check http://www.holtonstreetclinic.org/outreach-testing for the current locations and times.
- Free services
- Screening for HIV and Syphilis
- Hepatitis A & B Vaccinations
- Hepatitis C Screening
- HPV Vaccinations
- $20 services
- HPV Treatment
- Herpes Treatment
- $40 services
- Comprehensive STI Testing for HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Trichomoniasis, Mycoplasma Genitalium
- 4th Generation HIV Rapid Test technology with same-day results
- Herpes Cultures and Diagnosis
- HPV Diagnosis
3200 N. 36th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53216
The Keenan Sexual Health Clinic is part of the City of Milwaukee’s public health department. The clinic sees as many as 5,000 individuals annually. They have been providing STD testing for nearly 30 years. From the clinic’s website: “The City of Milwaukee Health Department Sexual and Reproductive Health program provides confidential testing and follow-up services to uninsured and under-insured residents of Milwaukee and the surrounding communities. Services are provided at the MHD Keenan Health Center SRH Clinic to anyone who is at least 12 years of age, at no cost to the client.” Patients are seen on a first come, first served basis; no appointments are scheduled.
Monday 11 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. & 4:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Tuesday 8 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Wednesday 8 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Thursday 11 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. & 4:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
- Screening, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections
- Confidential HIV counseling and testing
- Free male and female condoms
- Vaccinations against Hepatitis B (with full exam)
- Risk reduction counseling
- Emergency contraception
Like so many of us, I’ve relied on Planned Parenthood for my own healthcare needs many times throughout my adult life. I think of Planned Parenthood as a trusted family member who will always be there for me. They have several locations in the Milwaukee area. In the month of April, Planned Parenthood offers free HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea testing to everyone. You can schedule an appointment by calling the individual clinic, or by visiting www.ppwi.org.
Capitol Drive Health Center
801 E. Capitol Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Lincoln Plaza Health Center
2239 S. 108th St.
West Allis, WI 53227
Mitchell Street Health Center
1710 S. 7th St., Suite 300
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Northwest Health Center
5380 W. Fond du Lac Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53216
Waukesha Health Center
426 W. Main St.
Wisconsin Avenue Health Center
2207 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Services vary slightly by location, but generally Planned Parenthood offers:
- Birth Control
- Hepatitis A and B Vaccine
- HIV Testing
- HPV Vaccine
- Men’s Health Care
- Morning-After Pill
- Pregnancy Testing and Services
- STD Testing and Treatment
- Women’s Health Care
Curious about cunnilingus? Anxious about anal? Do you have questions about queefs or problems with your prostate? Lucky Tomaszek is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee’s only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Send her an email at [email protected] and she’ll get back to you with an answer.