Clinical services are provided in strict confidence and are available to anyone who seeks care for the prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Clinic sites in each Florida County offer STD services on a reasonable and/or no cost basis to adults and adolescents, regardless of their citizenship status. All clients, including adolescents are assured confidential STD clinical services by Florida Law.
Clinical services for STDs include: health history and risk assessment, physical examination, STD testing as indicated, treatment and counseling. HIV testing is offered. You will be asked to return to the clinic for test results. If, at the time of your visit, the clinic doctor or nurse practitioner diagnoses that you have an STD, you will be provided treatment during the visit, or given a prescription to purchase treatment at a pharmacy. Trained counselors will talk with you about reducing your risk for getting STDs and how to prevent infections from spreading to your partners.
The STD field services component of the Florida Department of Health is an essential link between clinic services and persons who are either infected, and/or at risk for acquiring a sexually transmitted disease.
The organizational structure of the field services component includes nearly 200 highly trained Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS), supervisors and managers, who are assigned to one of 15 area STD control programs around the state. These staffs provide confidential counseling, testing and treatment for persons either diagnosed with or exposed to an STD. Clients who are diagnosed with an STD are also offered partner referral services that allow for the notification, screening and treatment of their sex or needle sharing partners; partner referral services, conducted by professional DIS, results in greater confidentiality for clients and their partners, as well as providing more effective notification and treatment methodologies. This service is provided to clients on a voluntary basis and is strictly confidential.
Field service staff provides individualized and group education to thousands of Florida residents each year. The field staff offers STD education at local county health departments, schools, juvenile detention centers, community health fairs, local jails, teen centers, homeless shelters and other locations throughout the state.
Florida's STD field staff serves as the front line of defense for intervening in the spread of STDs. Field outreach activities include: notifying persons who have been exposed to an STD; facilitating counseling; screening and treatment for those partners; and conducting organized community outreach screenings for syphilis and HIV, reaching over 12,000 at risk residents annually.
The field staff is also responsible for verifying the diagnosis and treatment of all reportable STDs from public and private health care providers, nearly 100,000 reports annually. Following verification of diagnosis and treatment, the county health department-based DIS offer counseling and partner referral services to those individuals involved in the case.