(Funded by the Arizona Department of Health Services, administered by the Cochise Health & Social Services)

Testing Locations:


Phone No.



Sierra Vista




Benson 520-586-8200




What are STD's

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are diseases that are mainly passed from one person to another (that is transmitted) during sex. There are at least 25 different sexually transmitted diseases with a range of different symptoms. Most sexually transmitted diseases will only affect you if you have sexual contact with someone who has an STD. However there are some infections, for example scabies, which are referred to as STDs because they are most commonly transmitted sexually, but which can also be passed on in other ways. 

What STD's Does CCHD Test For?

Currently, the Health Department tests for Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Chlamydia, and HIV. Use the clinic schedule above to find out when testing is done in your area.  Please call the number provided to schedule an appointment.

Where can I get free condoms & when?

Any Health Dept. Office gives out FREE Dick Tracy Bags.  Any person of any age can come to the Health Dept. and request a “Dick Tracy Bag”.  Dick Tracy Bags include three condoms and instructions on use.  One will be given to that person, no questions asked. Limit one per person per day.


What is Syphilis?

Syphilis is a bacterial infection usually spread by sexual contact. The disease starts as a painless sore on your genitals, mouth or another part of your body. If untreated, syphilis can damage your heart and brain. Syphilis rates in the United States have been rising since 2000. Nearly two-thirds of new infections occur in men who have sex with men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rates have also risen among young women. Syphilis affects a higher percentage of African-Americans than whites. Syphilis progresses in stages and can lead to serious complications or death. Having syphilis also makes you more vulnerable to HIV. When caught early, syphilis can be cured with antibiotics.

How Is It Treated?

When diagnosed and treated in its early stages, syphilis is easy to cure. The preferred treatment at all stages is penicillin, an antibiotic medication that can kill the organism that causes syphilis. If you're allergic to penicillin, please inform the clinic staff.  They will likely suggest another antibiotic.  A single injection of penicillin can stop the disease from progressing if you've been infected for less than a year. If you've had syphilis for longer than a year, you may need additional doses.  Penicillin is the only recommended treatment for pregnant women with syphilis. Women who are allergic to penicillin can undergo a desensitization process that may allow them to take penicillin. Even if you're treated for syphilis during your pregnancy, your newborn child should receive antibiotic treatment. Penicillin is the standard treatment for infants and children with congenital syphilis.  The first day you receive treatment you may experience what's known as the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction. Symptoms include fever, chills, nausea, achy pain and headache. This reaction usually doesn't last more than one day.

Treatment follow-up 
After you're treated for syphilis, your nurse may ask you to:

  • Have periodic blood tests and exams to make sure you're responding to the usual dosage of penicillin. Typically, these follow-up tests are done six months and 12 months after treatment, but may be done more often. Follow-up testing may continue for two years in some cases.
  • Avoid sexual contact until the treatment is completed and blood tests indicate the infection has been cured.
  • Notify your sex partners so that they can be tested and get treatment if necessary.
  • Be tested for HIV infection.

Syphillis Links & Information:


What is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted bacterium that can infect men and women. Gonorrhea can affect the urethra, rectum and throat of both men and women.  In women, gonorrhea can also infect the cervix.  Most people contract gonorrhea during sex. But pregnant women with gonorrhea can also pass the bacterium onto their babies.  In babies, gonorrhea most commonly affects the eyes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that about 700,000 people contract gonorrhea each year in the United States. Many don't know they have gonorrhea. You can protect yourself from gonorrhea by abstaining from sex or by using a condom if you choose to have sex.

How Is It Treated?

Gonorrhea treatment in adults - Adults with gonorrhea are treated with antibiotics. You typically receive treatment as an injection or as a single tablet you take by mouth.
Gonorrhea treatment for partners - Your partner also should undergo testing and treatment for gonorrhea, even if he or she has no signs or symptoms. Your partner receives the same treatment you do for gonorrhea. Even if you've been treated for gonorrhea, you can be reinfected if your partner isn't treated.
Gonorrhea treatment for babies - Babies born to mothers with gonorrhea receive a medication in their eyes soon after birth to prevent infection. If an eye infection develops, babies can be treated with antibiotics.

Gonorrhea Links & Information


What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection of your genital tract that spreads easily through sexual contact. You may not know you have Chlamydia because the signs and symptoms of pain and fluid discharge don't show up right away, if they show up at all. Many people experience no signs and symptoms.  Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States.  Each year, nearly 3 million people in the United States are infected with Chlamydia. The disease affects both men and women and occurs in all age groups, though Chlamydia is most prevalent among U.S. teenagers.  Chlamydia isn't difficult to treat once you know you have it. If it's left untreated, however, Chlamydia can lead to more-serious health problems.

How Is It Treated?

Chlamydia is treated with prescription antibiotics such as azithromycin (Zithromax), doxycycline or erythromycin. A doctor usually prescribes these antibiotics as pills to be swallowed. You may be asked to take your medication in a one-time dose, or you may receive a prescription medication to be taken daily or multiple times a day for five to 10 days. In most cases, the infection resolves within one to two weeks. During that time you should abstain from sex.  Your sexual partner or partners also need treatment even though they may not have signs or symptoms.  Otherwise, the infection can be passed back and forth. It's possible to be reinfected with Chlamydia.

Chlamydia Links & Information:


What is HIV/AIDS?

AIDS is a chronic, life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By damaging your immune system, HIV interferes with your body's ability to fight off viruses, bacteria and fungi that cause disease. HIV makes you more susceptible to certain types of cancers and to infections your body would normally resist, such as pneumonia and meningitis. The virus and the infection itself are known as HIV. "Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)" is the name given to the later stages of an HIV infection.  An estimated 39.5 million people have HIV worldwide. And though the spread of the virus has slowed in some countries, it has escalated or remained unchanged in others. The best hope for stemming the spread of HIV lies in prevention, treatment and education.

Who Should be tested for HIV & How Often?

If you think you may have HIV — get tested. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages voluntary HIV testing as a routine part of medical care if you are:

  • An adolescent or adult between the ages of 13 to 64
  • Pregnant, because if you're infected with HIV there are ways to reduce the chance you'll pass it along to your baby.

Yearly testing is recommended if you're at high risk of infection. Consider HIV testing yearly and before having sex with a new partner if you:

  • Have had unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex with more than one sexual partner or with an anonymous partner since your last screening
  • Are a man who has sex with men
  • Use IV drugs
  • Have been diagnosed with tuberculosis or a sexually transmitted disease (STD) such as hepatitis or syphilis
  • Have had unprotected sex with someone who falls into any of the above categories.

Support Information

Receiving a diagnosis of any life-threatening illness is devastating. But the emotional, social and financial consequences of HIV/AIDS can make coping with this illness especially difficult — not only for you but also for those close to you.

HIV/AIDS clinics - Fortunately, a wide range of services and resources are available to people with HIV. Most HIV/AIDS clinics have social workers, counselors or nurses who can help you with problems directly or put you in touch with people who can. They can arrange for transportation to and from doctor appointments, help with housing and child care, and deal with employment, financial and legal issues. Some of the following suggestions may help you deal with the emotional toll of living with HIV/AIDS:

  • Learn all you can about HIV/AIDS. Find out how the disease progresses, your prognosis and your treatment options, including both experimental and standard treatments and their side effects. The more you know the more active you can be in your own care.
  • Be proactive. Although you may often feel tired and discouraged, don't let others — including your family or your doctor — make important decisions for you. It's vital that you take an active role in your treatment.
  • Maintain a strong support system. Strong relationships are crucial in dealing with life-threatening illnesses. Although friends and family can be your best allies, in some cases they may have trouble dealing with your illness. If so, an HIV counselor, other people who are HIV-positive, or a formal support group may be helpful.
  • Take time to make important decisions. One struggle you'll likely face is how much to reveal about your illness. When your disease is first diagnosed, you may not want anyone to know. But HIV/AIDS is a heavy burden to carry alone. Like many people, you may eventually decide that it's important for your emotional well-being to confide in someone you trust. The choice is up to you. You need to tell your current and former sexual partners and your health care providers. Beyond that, there is no legal obligation for you to reveal your HIV status, even to your employer. In fact, the law guarantees your right to privacy.
  • Come to terms with your illness. Coming to terms with your illness may be the hardest thing you've ever done. For some people, having a strong faith or a sense of something greater than themselves makes this process easier. Others seek counseling from someone who understands HIV/AIDS.  Still others make a conscious decision to experience their lives as fully and intensely as they can or to help other people who have the disease.
  • A vast support network is available for people with HIV infection.

How To Prevent HIV/AIDS

There's no vaccine to prevent HIV infection and no cure for AIDS. But it's possible to protect yourself and others from infection. That means educating yourself about HIV and avoiding any behavior that allows HIV-infected fluids — blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk — into your body. The following measures can help keep you from being infected with HIV:

  • Educate yourself and others. Make sure you understand what HIV is and how the virus is transmitted. Just as important, teach your children about HIV.
  • Know the HIV status of any sexual partner. Don't engage in unprotected sex unless you're absolutely certain your partner isn't infected with HIV.
  • Use a new latex or polyurethane condom every time you have sex. If you don't know the HIV status of your partner, use a new latex condom every time you have anal or vaginal sex. Women can use a female condom. If you're allergic to latex, use a plastic (polyurethane) condom. Avoid lambskin condoms — they don't protect you from HIV. Use only water-based lubricants, not petroleum jelly, cold cream or oils. Oil-based lubricants can weaken condoms and cause them to break. During oral sex use a condom, dental dam — a piece of medical-grade latex — or plastic wrap. Remember that although condoms can reduce your risk of contracting HIV, they don't eliminate the risk entirely. Condoms can break or develop small tears, and they may not always be used properly.
  • Consider male circumcision. A large study in 2006 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) showed that medically performed circumcision significantly reduced a man's risk of acquiring HIV through heterosexual intercourse. The study, conducted in Kenya, showed a 53 percent reduction of HIV infection in circumcised HIV-negative men compared with uncircumcised men in the study. The outcome was heralded by the NIH as good news not only because it reduced the number of HIV-infected men, but also because it could lead to fewer infections among women in areas of the world where HIV is spread primarily through heterosexual intercourse.
  • Use a clean needle. If you use a needle to inject drugs, make sure it's sterile, and don't share it. Take advantage of needle exchange programs in your community and consider seeking help for your drug use.
  • Be cautious about blood products in certain countries. Although the blood supply in the United States is now well screened, this isn't always the case in other countries. If an emergency requires that you receive blood or blood products in another country, get tested for HIV as soon as you return home.
  • Get regular screening tests. If you are a woman, have a yearly Pap test. And if you're a man or woman who has had sex with one or more new partners, be tested annually. Men and women who engage in anal sex should also have regular tests for anal cancer.
  • Don't become complacent. Because potent anti-retroviral medications have reduced the number of AIDS deaths in the United States, you may think that HIV infection is no longer a problem. But HIV/AIDS is still a terminal illness for which there is no vaccine and no cure. Right now, the only way to stay healthy is to protect yourself and others from infection.

HIV/AIDS Links & Information:


What is contraception?

Contraception is a way to prevent pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Why should I use contraception?

To protect against unwanted pregnancy, and STDs. It is important to know that Yes. You can get pregnant or get an STD the anytime you have unprotected sex.

What types of contraception are there?  Which ones help prevent STD’s?


  • Abstinence means not having sexual intercourse.
  • Nearly 100% effective against both pregnancy and STDs.
  • There are no side effects or costs.


  • Spermicides come in the form of foams, creams, jellies, or suppositories (like capsules).
  • Protects against pregnancy.
  • Offers some protection against STDs, but does not protect against HIV.
  • In addition to spermicide, use a condom to protect against STDs.


  • Condoms can potentially break, not 100% effective.
  • A condom is a thin sheath (cover) made of latex or another material.
  • Protects against pregnancy.
  • Latex condoms can protect against STDs.
  • Using Spermicides in addition to the male or female condom will make it more effective.

Birth control pills:

  • Birth control pills are hormone pills that prevent the release of an egg.
  • Protects against pregnancy.
  • Does not protect against STDs.
  • In addition to the pill, use a condom to protect against STDs.


  • A diaphragm is like a shallow cup that fits inside a woman's body.
  •  Protects against pregnancy.
  • Does not protect against STDs.

Injections (Shots):

  • The shot prevents the release of an egg.
  • A common shot is called Depo-Provera.
  • Protects against pregnancy.
  •  Does not protect against STDs.


  • The doctor puts six small capsules under the skin in the woman's upper arm which prevents the release of an egg.
  • Protects against pregnancy.
  • Does not protect against STDs.
  • Works for about 5 years.

Emergency Contraception:

  • Commonly called "the morning-after pill."  Comes in the form of a pill or medicine.
  • Does not protect against STDs.
  • If you are considering this option, call your doctor or a family planning center, such as Planed Parenthood, within 3 days of the occurrence.
  • Should not be used in place of other contraception. Plan on using another method. The "morning-after pill" should be used only in emergencies.

Contraception Links & Information:

Where Can I get Information on Other Types of STDs?