The Arizona State Department of Health’s annual STD surveillance profile 2017 revealed that the number of three common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is on the rise. This includes chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
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Which Method of STD Testing is Suitable for Me?
Every sexually active individual must protect their sexual health. Regular STD testing is the only way to care for your sexual health. However, sometimes it becomes confusing to select the right testing method as there are so many options available. For your convenience, we have gathered information about all available STD testing methods in Arizona. Check them out to find out which option is suitable for you.
|Testing Method||Waiting Times||Speed of Results||Positive Consultation|
Private Testing (Walk-In Clinic)
10-20 Minutes with No Wait
Free With Positive Result
At-Home STD Testing
Free With Positive Result
Call for Appointment
Call for Appointment
Out-of-Pocket Cost Required
Limited Hours and Long Lines
Learn more in our ultimate guide to STD testing.
It can be, but it does not necessarily have to be. What many people need to understand is that laboratory tests would most often than not be relatively pricey due to the technology that is being utilized behind these diagnostic techniques. However, opting for specific laboratories that offer more convenient testing procedures and discounted prices for diagnostic tests would help ensure that the price will not be much of an issue in providing you with the conclusive diagnosis of your condition. It might take some independent scanning to find the right testing center for you in the most acceptable price range, but it is not as impossible as many people make it out to be.
Considering that a wide variety of testing kits and laboratory procedures can be performed to determine conclusively whether you have a particular STD or not, the time that it will take for your results to return will also be subject to the same inconsistency. Although there are specific laboratories that could produce your results even by the end of the day (albeit, it is extremely rare for institutions to do so unless necessary), most would often take a few days to a week before the results are either delivered or posted online through your secure personal profile (in the case of online transactions). In addition to that, the capability of the laboratory performing the test may also contribute to the overall timeframe of result delivery – causing delays in cases where there are several requests or understaffed to provide expedited results.
For more information, skip to the FAQs section on this page.
The latest estimates suggest a 16% rise in STD cases between 2016 and 2017. However, the health department claims that STDs have risen among Arizonans for the past fifteen years.
STDs are serious diseases and can lead to other diseases such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, colon cancer, and pregnancy-related complications, for instance, ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage. Syphilis can cause issues with the eyes, heart, brain, and ears. Women of childbearing age are the most vulnerable group of the population as they may suffer drastic health outcomes.
Most people believe that if they contract a sexually transmitted infection, they will immediately know about it. However, the reality is that most STDs are asymptomatic. This means the disease won’t show any symptoms during the initial few stages. By the time an individual detects any symptoms, the disease has progressed to a latter, more chronic stage. It becomes difficult to treat it then.
The good news is that if detected at the right time, STDs can be treated. It is now possible to prevent STDs through regular testing, consistent use of condoms, and fewer sexual partners.
Remember that untreated STDs can cause irreversible health complications, including male/female infertility, premature birth, and congenital disabilities in newborns, apart from the diseases mentioned above.
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As per the latest available STDs surveillance report from the Arizona Department of Health, in 2017, more than 54,000 cases were reported in the state, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Chlamydia was identified as the most commonly reported STD in the state, as around 40,000 cases were reported in 2017. The next most commonly reported STD in Arizona was gonorrhea, which marked a whopping 94% rise in the past five years. Reportedly, syphilis isn’t a commonly reported STD in Arizona, as are chlamydia and gonorrhea, its impacts can be devastating. It is alarming that the rate of babies born with syphilis doubled in the state in 2017 compared to 2016 statistics.
According to the state’s annual STD report 2017, there were 39, 635 cases of chlamydia reported in Arizona, and nearly 67% of them were women. Another surprising fact is that one in five syphilis cases were diagnosed in women in 2017. It is worth noting that since January 2015, a sharp rise in the monthly average of syphilis diagnoses in women was observed.
This rise has led to an increase in congenital syphilis cases as well. In 2016 around 16 babies were born with syphilis, whereas in 2017, just one year later, the number of babies born with syphilis increased significantly with 31 babies. That’s double the number reported in 2016. Three babies born with congenital syphilis in 2017 died immediately after being born or were stillborn.
Conversely, preventive measures helped in protecting 83 babies from contracting syphilis. One on three congenital syphilis cases were reported outside Maricopa County. Another critical aspect to note is that about 29% or 9 of the women who gave birth to babies with syphilis were either infected or re-infected after their first test.
In Arizona, the most vulnerable population group regarding STDs is women, particularly pregnant women or those of childbearing age. Other potentially at-risk groups include men who have sex with men and teens and young adults falling into the 15-24 age group category. These groups reported the highest rates of STDs in the state in 2017.
In addition to that, African-Americans and American Indians continue to report the highest rates of STD diagnoses. In 2017, as per the statistics from Arizona’s STD surveillance report, around 58% of all syphilis cases, 2.8% of all chlamydia cases, and 12% of all gonorrhea cases were reported in men who have sex with men. Though this group represents a relatively small proportion of rural cases in Arizona, the group is disproportionately impacted by syphilis compared to men who have female sex partners only.
People aged 10-24 make up around 20% of Arizona’s total population, and this group accounted for 53% of all STD diagnoses in 2017. This group represented a majority of all chlamydia cases, around half of all reported gonorrhea cases, and at least 20% of all syphilis cases in the state. However, the fact cannot be overlooked that STDs are increasing at a much faster rate among people aged 25-39, whereas people aged 65 or older represented just 1% of all STDs diagnoses.
It is worth noting that significant racial disparities have persisted in Arizona state as far as STD case rates are concerned. These disparities occur among people with reported syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia infections. STDs greatly impact American Indians in Arizona.
The southwestern region in the USA has the largest population of American Indians by region, and this race is experiencing significantly high rates of STDs. For instance, in 2004, at least 92% of all primary/secondary syphilis cases reported in this region were identified in American Indians living in three Indian Health Service (IHS) Areas Navajo, Phoenix, and Albuquerque. Arizona has portions of Phoenix and Navajo, so the state reports a higher number of STD cases among American Indians.
During 2007, African-Americans reported the highest rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia infections. American Indians recorded the second-highest rate of chlamydia with 649 cases/100,000 people and the second-highest gonorrhea rate with 95 cases/100,000 people. Compared to other racial or ethnic groups, these were 1.7 and 1.2 times higher.
The Arizona Department of Health Services has collaborated with partners at local public health departments and those located within the community to offer comprehensive STD screening and treatment services. The department focuses on expanding access to STD testing and treatment to at-risk populations. The department provided funding to local health departments to offer STD testing to 18,138 people and treatment to around 2,126 partners and prevented at least 83 babies from contracting syphilis in 2017.
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has launched STD Control Program (STDCP) to ensure effective use of resources and channel efforts to improve the epidemiology, surveillance, communication capacity, and policy building at the state level. This program offers support to all stakeholders, particularly those serving at-risk populations. This includes community-based organizations and local health departments.
The STDCP has roped in internal/external partners to promote STD prevention strategies and control the outbreak of common STDs. These partners include the CDC, community-based organizations, tribal health departments, and Arizona medical providers.
The Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Program is another important initiative to reduce STD incidence in Yuma County. This initiative offers diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up services to infected individuals. All county residents are eligible to receive these services in the STD clinic for $25.00 per visit, including chlamydia and gonorrhea testing.
Depending on the test being performed and the testing physician's targeted diseases, various types of samples can be requested from you. In some instances, a minuscule blood sample of a few milliliters will be collected, some might ask for a urine sample, and others may opt for a genital swab. Again, the sample being collected will depend on the test being conducted and the outcome that is being targeted for this particular procedure.
It does vary on a case-to-case basis. Insurance policies are often particular with the instances that they would be covering with their program. Some may cover severe accidents, some may even consider “orphan disease,” and yes, some may also cover the expenses for performing STD diagnostic tests. However, considering that your insurance provider will have to verify the person's identity availing of the program, STD testing laboratories that employ a minimal collection of patient information may not accept insurance policies to prioritize privacy over affordability.
Although NAATs are well-known for their accuracy and sensitivity in detecting most STDs, it is also subject to certain inconsistencies, especially in the case of herpes infections. In Herpes, outbreaks often result in a relative increase in the patient’s viral load – leading to a timeline that usually has specific peaks at certain intervals instead of a consistent rise in viral load throughout. As such, sensitive tests such as NAATs are still unable to accurately diagnose herpes conditions, especially in cases where the patient has recently become asymptomatic and is currently between outbreaks. Other tests such as culture testing and type-specific virologic tests are often employed instead as a confirmatory diagnosis for the patient’s condition.
Similar to how other testing procedures behave, false-positive results are still evident even in STD testing. False-positive and even false-negative results are standard instances that showcase the imperfection of the test’s design – a factor that is present everywhere. However, despite certain inconsistencies in laboratory tests as such, physicians commonly use confirmatory tests that would often take another path entirely to arrive at the same conclusion – solidifying the initial test’s diagnosis while still ensuring that the second test is not following the inconsistencies of the first.
A nucleic acid amplification test is a laboratory procedure that professionals often perform to make detecting a particular nucleic acid or gene being targeted easier and more convenient while still ensuring that the sample being collected is relatively minimal. Nucleic acid amplification tests, or NAATs, are usually the mainstay diagnostic test for most STDs due to their ability to detect the presence of pathogenic nucleic acids and genes in the patient sample with utmost accuracy and speed. NAATs depends on their ability to replicate the target RNA and DNA to create numerous copies – resulting in an increased convenience in the detection of the desired molecules instead of trying to either blindly look for one strand in a minuscule sample or collecting a large sample that could make the patient uncomfortable throughout the process. Although NAATs are often preferred for a more conclusive diagnosis of STDs, certain exceptions such as the availability of resources and instances of intermittent viral shedding could make NAATs less desirable than other tests. Fret not, however, as your physician is knowledgeable regarding these instances and would often request the best diagnostic procedure for your instances.
How Does it Work?
Most people experience feelings of hesitation when going to get tested for STD, despite knowing they might have contracted one. EasySTD was created to change that.
Visit your nearest lab or clinic, order your home testing kit online, and follow the given instructions from an STD testing provider.
After ordering your STD test, visit the testing center to get tested or take a self sample including urine, cotton swab, or finger prick with the home testing kit and mail it back.
Receive the lab-certified results of your STD test from your test provider via mail or phone within 2 to 3 days. If the test comes positive, consult your doctor immediately.