STD testing is one of the most stressful medical tests that people have to contend with. While it’s important for your health and alleviates the anxiety that comes with not knowing, the process of being tested for sexually transmitted diseases can be overwhelming.
One aspect that makes people nervous is the cost. How much is the bill going to be? Thankfully, you can get a yearly STI exam done that costs you very little and, in some cases, nothing at all! The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) suggests that people get tested every year, but the truth is, any time you have a new sex partner, you should be tested.
Where can you go to get tested without paying a lot of money?
If you lack health insurance, a local Planned Parenthood can help with STI checks for little to nothing out of pocket. The amount you pay is based on income and household size.
You can also find a local Title X clinic, which uses government money to provide affordable reproductive healthcare to destitute individuals. These clinics work with local, state, national and federal entities to offer a broad range of reproductive care providers. While it’s usually used as a method to get low-cost birth control, several providers do offer preventative testing.
For people with insurance, the ACA (also known as Obamacare) requires that every insurance plan offers yearly STI testing and preventative care. This goes for Medicare and private insurance. Screenings included in the coverage are chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HPV, HIV and HIV prevention counseling.
When getting tested through your health insurance, you must ensure the doctor submits the claim as preventative testing, as that’s what the ACA coverage is for and what you pay is based on the designation. If you suspect an issue, your doctor may designate as something else, but if you’re at your yearly checkup, the tests should be covered.
There is a multitude of AHF wellness centers across the U.S. that provide free screenings. Together with Out of the Closet, a thrift store chain, a counselor will test you for STIs. If you shop at the store, a donation of $0.96 is donated to the AHF HIV/AIDS program.
Quite a few colleges and universities provide STI and HIV testing to its students in the campus health center. This is significant since there are 20 million new STI cases every year, with half of the new infections occurring in individuals between 15 and 24 years old.
Many colleges and universities request students to have health insurance while others request a small fee for every visit. It may be best to visit a local clinic where you pay next to nothing for your tests.
LGBTQ+ Clinics provide services for the lower-income LGBTQ+ community members. You may need to do a search for these clinics to find one in your area or one close to you.
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Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are bacterial, fungal or viral infections that are spread through the engagement of sexual intercourse with anyone who has any of the STDs. These sexual infections many be spread in a variety of sexual activity asides penetrative sex, including all sexual acts involving the mouth, penis, vagina or anus. Many of these STIs can also be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, blood interactions and needle sharing among other equipment that is used in intravenous drug use. Sexually transmitted diseases are severe illnesses that usually require treatment irrespective of whether the female counterpart is pregnant or not, but in the case of pregnancies, there is a particular need to exercise more care as mothers are not the only one at risk.
Monash University is conducting a trial that wants to prove that bacterial vaginosis is, in fact, a sexually transmitted disease that both men and women can carry. A 2006 study from Monash University showed that 50 percent of women that use oral or topical antibiotics were re-treated again in six months for the condition.