Sexually transmitted disease (STDs) rates have reached an all-time high across the country, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The highest rates were noted for the three most common STDs, namely chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea.
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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 Arkansas. 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.
In Arkansas, around 17,663 cases of chlamydia, 288 cases of primary/secondary syphilis (P&S), and 7,300 cases of gonorrhea were reported in 2018. Nationally, approx. 2.4 million new cases were reported in 2018. This indicates the extent to which STDs are rising across the USA, particularly in Arkansas.
The latest data from CDC show that over 25,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were diagnosed in Arkansas in 2018, but ironically, most people were unaware of their condition. They cannot be blamed because usually, people cannot detect that they have an STD since most of them are asymptomatic. However, if they aren't diagnosed and treated early on, the damage they cause would be irreversible. The consequences won't be limited to the infected individual only but will affect their spouse, sexual partners, and future child. For instance, if undiagnosed, syphilis can have detrimental effects on the pregnant mother and the growing fetus.
CDC reports that young people make up for half of all new infections as there has been a significant increase in STDs rates among teenagers and adolescents. The cases are notably higher among those under eighteen years of age. That's because, at that age, people aren't as aware of the necessary precautions before indulging in sexual activity and don't bother about getting tested for STDs.
The stigmas associated with STDs are another crucial reason why people refrain from getting screened. In this regard, it is essential to note that it is possible to get tested discreetly. Moreover, Arkansas state allows screening and treatment of STDs in minors without requiring parental consent. However, the rising STDs rates in Arkansas are also noted in the older generation. The key reason behind this spike is a decline in condom use due to effective contraceptive methods to prevent pregnancy.
The most concerning aspect for Arkansas state health officials is the increase in infants/newborns living with syphilis. If appropriate treatment is not provided to the infected individual, it can lead to severe neurological and physical consequences. In newborns, the effects could be lifelong and even more drastic, states the medical director of infectious diseases for the Arkansas Department of Health, Naveen Patil.
That's why it is vital for people, whether young or old, to get tested frequently for STDs. For pregnant females, it is vital to get screened at all trimesters and after childbirth.
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Arkansas State is top-ranked when it comes to the prevalence of common STDs. Apart from featuring in the list of top US states with the greatest number of STDs cases, on the whole, it also is among the topmost affected states for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and P&S syphilis cases.
Arkansas ranks at number 12 in the chlamydia rate in the US, which is 10% higher than the national rate. It ranks number 7 in the US for the prevalence of gonorrhea cases and has a 30% higher rate than the overall national average. It ranks 20th for the population-adjusted rate of P&S syphilis. However, in syphilis, the state's rate is 15% lower than the national average.
The 2018 STDs and STIs surveillance report from the Arkansas Health Department revealed that between 2015 and 2018, around 67,225 cases of chlamydia and more than 24,360 cases of gonorrhea were reported in Arkansas. The statewide chlamydia and gonorrhea rates have been higher than the national rates throughout 2015 to 2018, as chlamydia rates increased by 11.6% per year.
The rate of gonorrhea infection during 2015-2018 increased by 54.4%, while in 2018, there were 364 cases of early non-P&S or early latent syphilis and 288 cases of P&S syphilis. The state reportedly had 25 cases of congenital syphilis in 2018.
In 2018, Arkansas's syphilis rate was 9.6/100,000 people, whereas the early non-P&S syphilis rate was 12.1 cases/100,000 people and 67.2 cases of congenital syphilis per 100,000 live births. Hence, the rate of P&S syphilis, as per the report, increased 138.3% between 2015 and 2018, and in the same period, the rate of non-P&S syphilis increased by 71.9%. The rate of congenital syphilis between 2015 and 2018 increased by 418.3% in Arkansas, which is the greatest increment in any notifiable STI/STD across the state during this time.
The rate of gonorrhea infections in the state during 2018 was 242.2/100,000 people. Among the counties with ten or more cases in Arkansas, Crittenden County reported the highest rate of gonorrheal infections with 655.7/100,000 people, whereas Polk County reportedly had the lower rate with just 54 cases per 100,000 people, as per the 2018 Surveillance Report Data.
Arkansas counties located on the Southwestern and Delta side reported the highest rate of chlamydia infections in the region in 2018, with over 586 cases/100,000 population. Crittenden County still had the higher number of chlamydial infections in 2018 with 1,375.6 cases per 100,000 people, whereas Searcy County reported the lowest rate of infections with 163.4/100,000.
Counties located along the Delta and Louisiana border area also had the highest rates. Regarding early syphilis cases, there were 21.6 cases/100,000 in Arkansas in 2018. In contrast, Jackson County reported the highest rate in counties with ten or more cases with 71.4/100,000 people, followed by Miller County, which had 71.1/100,000.
Arkansas state health department's STD surveillance data from 2018 indicates that most chlamydial infections, 70.8%, were diagnosed in women. The infection rate was at least 5.6 times higher in African-Americans compared to Whites. The chlamydia infection rate was higher in people aged 20-24 years with 38.2%, followed by the 15-16 age group with 30.8%, and the third most affected group was 25-29 years with 16.5% of all reported cases.
The gonorrhea infection rate was higher in males with 237.2/100,000, and females reportedly accounted for 247 cases/100,000 in 2018. Almost half of all reported gonorrhea infections were diagnosed in Black persons. The disease was most commonly diagnosed among people aged 20-24, 31.8%, followed by the 15-19 age group, 21.6%, and the third most affected group was 25-29 with 20% of all cases.
Arkansas's P&S syphilis cases in 2018 were 3 times higher among males than females, whereas the black population reported the highest number of cases with 29.3/100,000 people. The disease was frequently diagnosed in the 25-29 years age group, 25.3%, followed by the 20-24 age group, 24.7%.
Early non-Primary, non-secondary syphilis cases were highest in males with over 67% of all cases than females who reported over 32% of cases. Blacks again reported the highest rate compared to Hispanics and whites with 38.9/100,000, 6.9/100,000, and 6.6/100,000 cases, respectively. The 25-29 age group reported the highest rate of early non-P&S syphilis infection.
The Arkansas Department of Health's HIV/AIDS/STD Surveillance Program monitors all HIV/AIDS/STD cases in Arkansas. It carries out the activities as per the standards set by the CDC and outlined in the 2014 Technical Guidance for HIV/AIDS Surveillance Programs as well as the Program Operations Guidelines for STD Prevention.
CDC funds Arkansas state's health department to channel efforts towards reducing STDs prevalence via science-based control and prevention services. Emphasis is laid on devising scalable, high-impact, low-cost, and sustainable plans in the long run.
The Arkansas Department of Health's STD Prevention program is implemented to reduce/prevent STDs and STI rates in Arkansas. The primary goals of this program include increasing access to testing and treatment per CDC guidance, improve services to those infected with STD and their partners, ensure reduction in re-infection, and increase awareness about STD testing, treatment, epidemiology, and prevention.
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.
Similar to what was previously mentioned, herpes infections are known for their recurring tendencies – causing outbreaks now and then and thus causing an intermittent spike in the patient’s viral load for specific instances. In addition to that, other STDs also take time to proliferate and produce a sufficient viral load that could warrant a positive and, more importantly, accurate diagnosis and detection from the tests being administered. As such, detecting an STD a few days following exposure is often complex and unpredictable – leading physicians to follow a certain timeframe instead for testing STDs instead of blindly testing immediately following exposure. Physical exams, however, may supplement inaccurate laboratory diagnoses, especially in cases where the test is prone to false results.
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.
It would vary depending on the condition that is being tested. STDs behave differently due to the varying pathogenicity of each STD’s causative organism. In some instances, you can get accurately tested as early as two weeks following exposure, while some are intermittently inaccurate due to its recurrence (much like in the case of herpes infections). To avoid this, be sure to discuss the intricacies of the test with your physician to understand whether a particular test could provide you with a conclusive diagnosis or if it still needs another confirmatory test to establish its premise.
Yes. Certain companies offer at-home testing kits wherein you are the one that will collect the specimens necessary for the test at the comfort of your own home. Sure, it might sometimes be subject to errors due to the potential contamination of the sample from collection to transportation, but it does offer a great deal of privacy and convenience for patients who would prefer to have their identities hidden in fear that their community will judge them.
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.