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A Valentine's Day Focus on Sexual Health

By Pamela Saulsby

February 18, 2020

A Valentine's Day Focus on Sexual Health 

Some romantics celebrated the holiday of love weekend with a free test for sexually transmitted diseases.  The Florida Department of Health in Leon County joined some of its community partners for a Valentine’s Day STD testing outreach event.

There were serious objectives behind the holiday connection and catchy themes: to break the stigma of STDs,  to encourage high risk populations to get tested, and help curb a record number of STD cases. Those on the front lines believe that expanding access to rapid testing is a key part of allowing people to know their status and get quicker treatment.

mobile testing for HIV STDs


A mobile testing van was used for rapid testing and for health education at 926 Bar and Grill, a local spot for gay culture on West Tharpe Street in Tallahassee. The free test deal was sweetened with prizes and healthy behavior incentives for those who showed up. The event was a great opportunity for people to engage with health educators and learn how to enjoy themselves while reducing their risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections.

Campaigns like this one, linking free testing to Valentine’s Day, have been rolled out in other states. They’ve proved effective at building awareness and getting people to come in, get screened, and get tested.

exterior images of nighclub

Free rapid HIV and Syphilis testing is available Monday through Friday at the Florida Department of Health in Leon County.  Call 850-404-6240 to learn more.