GALION — A new sexual health clinic opened at the Galion Health Department with a “soft” opening in July, but now the facility is up and running at full capacity. It offers discreet service to those in a nine-county area. A ribbon cutting for the clinic was held Tuesday morning with health professionals and city officials in attendance.
“We are excited to add the sexual health clinic services to the Galion City Health Department and expand our ability to offer STI and HIV screenings and treatment in a convenient, non-judgmental, and confidential environment,” said Galion City Health Commissioner Trish Factor.
The clinic is located at the Galion Health Department at 113 Harding Way East. Walk-ins are welcome but those wanting to make an appointment may call 419-468-1075.
Factor stated that according to the Centers for Disease control, 15- to 24-year olds account for half of all new sexually transmitted infections.
“Access to private sexual health care should be available to everyone, especially for teenagers and young adults who more commonly contract STDs/STIs. North central Ohio is making this a possibility by birthing the Galion Sexual Health Clinic,” Factor added.
“With cultural changes and the rise of mobile dating apps helping to fuel the rise of sexually transmitted diseases — especially among young adults — we want people to make STI screenings a key part of their plans for healthy living,” she said. “We’ve created a safe zone and sex-positive place for people to be able to talk about their experiences and to receive the support and the treatment they need.”
Factor said the clinic will serve patients in Crawford, Marion, Wyandot, Seneca, Erie, Huron, Richland, Ashland and Knox counties. She noted the clinic was made possible through a grant from the Ohio Department of Health.
The clinic will offer six main services to the public: STD/STI testing and treatment; condoms and safe sex education; HIV testing; HPV vaccinations; EPT (Expedited Partner Therapy); and PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis).
PrEP can help prevent a person from getting HIV, Factor explained. She said PrEP is a once daily medication to prevent HIV. If taken correctly each day, she said, along with safer lifestyle practices, the risk of contracting HIV is less than 1 percent in high risk individuals.
“A lot of people don’t want to get tested and treated in the community they live in,” Factor said. “They want a little more anonymity. They want to be able to come over from Marion, or Mansfield, or down from Huron. We’ve had people come from Ashland.We’ve had people come from Sandusky.”
Within the Galion City Health Department, the new clinic offers testing for STDs and more