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San Miguel County offers sexual health services

San Miguel County is offering free sexual health services for anyone 24 years and younger. (Journal file)
Free services available to residents outside the county as well

This week, San Miguel County Public Health, in partnership with BC4U, began offering free and confidential sexual health services for anyone 24 years of age and younger.

Services include testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, birth control, emergency contraception, pregnancy tests, HIV testing, education and counseling, according to a news release.

Services will be conducted at the San Miguel Public Health offices through visits by video chat.

“Sexual health and education are important parts of adolescent and young adult development,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin in a news release. “Bringing free sexual health services to our communities can help our young people develop healthy routines, behaviors and relationships while giving them easy access to comfortable, private testing, treatment and counseling.”

The free service is also available to people who reside outside San Miguel County, said Bill Kight, county public information consultant.

BC4U operates five clinics on the front range for in-person treatment and will offer proctored telehealth options through San Miguel County Public Health. Prescribed medications and tests can be dispensed at the San Miguel County Public Health clinic or mailed to a preferred address after a participant’s telehealth visit.

A BC4U provider will also be available for in-person clinics monthly for higher level clinical care based on previous telehealth visits.

Telehealth visits for sexual health services will be available during walk-in clinics at the Public Health offices on Tuesdays beginning March 14 from 9 a.m. to noon and one to 5 p.m. in Telluride at 333 W. Colorado Ave., on the third floor. Additional in-person clinical care will be determined and scheduled during the patient’s initial telehealth visit.

Individuals can access additional telehealth options any other time directly through BC4U.org.

If using the direct BC4U telehealth option from home, individuals can be mailed prescription treatments, STI tests or pregnancy tests to a preferred address or coordinate pickup at the San Miguel Public Health Department.

For questions surrounding the program, please email publichealth@sanmiguelcountyco.gov or call (970) 728-4289. To learn more about BC4U and the services offered through the organization, visit bc4u.org or call (720) 777-2248.

STIs are one of the most commonly reported conditions in Colorado and are among the world’s most common diseases, according to the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.

In 2020, in Colorado there were 26,136 cases of chlamydia reported, 9,686 cases of gonorrhea, and 1,777 syphilis cases of all stages, according to the CDPHE annual report.

In 2020, Colorado saw its highest reported cases of gonorrhea and syphilis, with a slight decrease in chlamydia cases reported, the report found.