This is primarily a listing of places to get tested for STIs in Austin, Texas. However, for those in other places, most private physicians can order the required tests, and many cities have Planned Parenthood offices or other clinics which also offer the testing. For the closest PP clinic to you, visit the Planned Parenthood website and provide your zip code at the top of the page. Also check with your local city or county government to see if there is a free clinic near you.
I will be posting descriptions of the various STI tests over the next several weeks, so you and your teenager will know what to expect when you get tested.
And now on to the local information for Austin.
The first place, and perhaps the most obvious, is Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood offers STI testing as well as birth control, emergency birth control, abortions, and many other reproductive health related services. There are three clinics in Austin:
- North (9041 Research Blvd, 331-1288)
- Downtown (1823 E. 7th St, 477-5846)
- South (201 E. Ben White Blvd, 276-8000)
The north and south clinic offer services from 9am to 6:30pm, Monday through Saturday for all clients. The downtown clinic offers a split schedule dependent on age. For teenagers, the hours are 2 – 6:30pm, and many services are offered free or at a very reduced price. For anyone 20 or older, the hours are 8:30am – 1pm and all services are offered at a fixed price. Some services are offered on a walk-in basis, others require an appointment, the services and prices vary depending on the clinic, so calling ahead is the best bet.
A second good option for STI testing is the Austin/Travis County Health & Human Services Department, which offers a battery of four test (syphilis, HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea) for $15 to individuals ages 14 and up (no parental permission required). The office is located at 15 Waller St, and an ID and an appointment are required. To make an appointment call 972-5580. Results take 10 – 14 days.
Finally, for students at the University of Texas, the University Health Services offers a wide variety of services, including STI testing, birth control, and emergency birth control. A doctor (either at UHS or a private physician) needs to order the STI testing, and a full list of tests are possible. The testing ranges in price from $14 (for syphilis) to $68 (for one type of herpes blood test). Call for more information and for an appointment: 471-4955. Results take between 1 and 5 days.
I have one more place to add! People’s Community Clinic is currently accepting patients between the ages of 11 and 19, and they do STD/STI and HIV testing for their patients. To find out more, or to become a patient, visit their website at: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/
Planned Parenthood is always a good resource, but can be very scary for someone who’s indecisive or still grappling with the ethical implications in using birth control, in abstinence vs. sexual activity, in abortion or not, and all that jazz.
When I was a late teen living on my own in Washington DC, I went to the Planned Parenthood clinic in downtown DC. I went alone and I had to get past an anti-abortion protester, I had to go through a metal detector, and I had to wait in a waiting room that I swear to god, reeked of fear, desperation and despair. This was when I was still grapping with pro-life vs. pro-choice issues, and this experience scared the hell outta me. That and they didn’t have any more money for BC at that point in time, so they recommended that I called up a doctor or an OB/GYN (’cause I had insurance).
Suggesting independent clinics, clinics that are just for STI testing, or a good OB/GYN is always a good idea. (For the Washington DC area, I recommend the Whitman-Walker Clinic or Teen Connection [which is where I go, even though I’m 25.] The District also offers testing.)
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