Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) continue to be one of the leading causes of morbidity and death, specifically within the at-risk population, in Florida. The Florida Department of Health recommends that routine testing/screening is the only solution to reduce the disease's spread.
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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 Florida. Check them out to find out which option is suitable for you.
This is one of the most popular ways to get tested for STDs today. These tests combine the best of both worlds for convenience and accuracy. You will order the test online at home, but you can walk into a professional lab testing center to get tested.
Another option is to simply visit your regular clinic and talk to your doctor.
If you do not want to visit a testing center, then a great alternative is an at-home test kit. You don’t even need to leave your house to get tested for STDs this way, which makes it the most discreet option. Everything is done through email and snail mail.
One last option for STD testing is a trip to a free clinic. If you go to a public STD-testing clinic, then you may get a free or discounted test, depending on your financial situation.
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.
Florida STD Data
HIV/AIDS is a serious and life-threatening disease that targets the body's immune system and makes the patient vulnerable to several other infections. Since there's no cure for the disease, reducing the transmission rate, minimizing the impact of the disease on those living with HIV, and providing quality treatment is the key to addressing this issue. In this regard, testing for HIV infection plays a crucial role.
The reason why there has been a steady increase in the rate of HIV/AIDS cases in Florida is that most people don't seek out testing, despite being sexually active. This approach undermines the preventive treatment's efficacy. People fear being ostracized in case they are HIV-positive.
According to the Florida Health Department, every day, 15 individuals get diagnosed with HIV infection in Florida, which is alarming.
CDC suggests that those HIV-positive people who take antiretroviral medications daily and stay in care do not pose a risk to other individuals as they cannot spread/transmit the virus to their HIV-negative partner. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services updated its HIV Treatment Guidelines in January 2016. As per the new rules, antiretroviral therapy should be initiated immediately after diagnosis regardless of the HIV viral load. It is possible only when the infection is detected at the right time. Therefore, without wasting any time, get yourself tested for HIV/AIDS.
In Florida, the state health department is funded by CDC as part of the national project for reducing STDs via science-based prevention and control measures. The focus is on offering high-impact, cost-effective, scalable, and sustainable services.
Moreover, Florida is part of a network of STD programs to collect additional information to quickly and comprehensively shed light on the current STD trends in the state. Florida's Sexual Health Education Community Outreach Tool Kit is another effort to address the state's rising STD cases. The tool kit's key goals include providing information, strategies, and ideas to community members so that the number of STD cases and teen pregnancies could be reduced.
Additionally, the program's primary goal is to improve young adults' health to ensure their academic success. It also aims to educate community members regarding the need to devise and implement effective sexual education policies as well as evidence-based education programs. Florida needs effective, age-appropriate, and medically accurate sexual health education programs.
Over three decades later, since the preliminary HIV diagnoses were made in the U.S., the stigma related to HIV/AIDS is still a barrier in comprehensively addressing the issue. The Florida Department of Health has been rather proactive in devising and implementing preventive measures to control the infection's spreading and transmission. Reducing the transmission of HIV is among the seven priority goals set by the health care ministry in the state.
There are two AIDS Education and Training Centers in Florida, which offer comprehensive resources and guidance to health care providers for the prevention/treatment of HIV/AIDS. These include the North Florida AETC and the South Florida AETC. Moreover, Florida has adopted a multi-dimensional approach to strengthen patient care activities and prevent transmission to reduce the state's growth rate of HIV cases.
One such strategy is the HIV/AIDS Surveillance Program, launched to gather accurate HIV data to assess trends and plan and implement HIV programs across the state. This involved offering maximum testing facilities to timely monitor treatment needs. The Test & Treat program has been launched to address the issue of HIV transmission and decrease the number of deaths due to HIV. It helps patients receive immediate consultation from a clinician in a culturally-appropriate manner, expand access to antiretroviral medications, undergo medical assessments, and seek guidance on the management of HIV to improve quality of life.
The Ready, Set, PrEP program initiated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is another important measure to help people living with HIV. Through this program, free pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medications are offered for free to eligible individuals.
The number of STDs cases across the US have been rising steadily in the past five years. In 2018, around 2.4 million cases of STDs, including Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Syphilis, were reported by the CDC, which is a record high. Congenital Syphilis rates have tripled nationwide, with Florida being one of the top five states that account for 70% of all cases, despite that Syphilis can be treated easily with penicillin. The reason behind the alarming increase in STD cases is that individuals don't get tested.
A recent report from the CDC in collaboration with Innerbody.com featured several Florida cities in the top 100 USA cities having the highest percentage of STDs cases based on the 2019 data from CDC. Pensacola was at no. 61 with 950 cases per 100,000 populaces. The city had reported 2,124 chlamydia, 61 HIV, 45 Syphilis, and 827 Gonorrhea cases among 315,000 metropolitan area residents.
It is hard to ignore that both primary and secondary Syphilis continues to be a grave health concern for the Florida Department of Health, primarily among pregnant women and MSM males. The risk of infection getting transmitted to the unborn child exists in most parts of the state. In 2011, Florida reported 6.6 cases of primary/secondary Syphilis per 100,000 population, which increased to 10.5 in 2015-16.
Currently, Florida is at no.6 among the 50 US states for having the greatest number of primary/secondary syphilis cases. Between 2011-215, there were 191 cases of congenital Syphilis. Moreover, Florida appeared at no.25 in nationwide Chlamydial infections with 454 cases per 100,000 people. Florida was at no.21 in Gonorrheal infections (121 per 100,000 people). Among females, the rate of chlamydia infection was 2.1 times higher than males, with 610.1 cases per 100,000 persons, whereas men reportedly accounted for 291.4 cases in 2015.
In 2018, the number of new diagnoses of HIV reached 4,573, with 25 new diagnoses per 100,000 people. In 2016, Miami had the highest rate of new infections per capita in any U.S. city, with 47 per 100,000 population. Florida is home to half of the people infected with HIV in the U.S., while 4 out of the ten metropolitan areas having the highest rate of new infections per 100,000 persons are in Florida.
Florida was ranked number 2 in the list of U.S. states with the highest HIV diagnoses rates in 2018 and number 1 in states with most people living with HIV. According to the Florida Department of Health statistics, in 2016, the state had 135,986 individuals infected with HIV. Out of these, around 15% (approx. 21,214) of these people were unaware of their status, explaining the state's overall high transmission rate.
The rate of reported HIV cases per 100,000 people in Florida in 2017 was 24%, slightly decreasing in 2018 with 23.4%. On the whole, there were 4,096 new HIV diagnoses in Florida in 2018. The death toll for HIV-positive people in 2018 was 1,916, whereas there was a significant difference between gender variance. Around 70.6% of males and 29.4% of females died of HIV in 2018.
For many Floridian teens, sexual activity states at an early age. According to the 2015 Florida Youth Risk Behavior Survey, sexual activity among teenagers increases with each grade level. Moreover, teens aren't only initiating sexual activity early, but they reportedly have multiple partners, which increases their chances of unintended pregnancy and STD infection. The survey results reveal that around 40% of students between grades 9 and 12 indulge in sexual intercourse at least once (roughly 278,120 students).
Moreover, in Florida, 9% of male students and 2% of females started sexual activity before turning 13 (approx. 30,700 and 7,464 students, respectively). Furthermore, around 24% of all 9th graders and 57% of 12th graders in Florida (nearly 44,490 students and 88,827 students respectively) indulged in sexual activity at least once, and 17% of 12th graders (approx. 26,800 students) have had sexual intercourse with multiple partners.
On a state level, the rate of teen births has risen considerably within the last two decades. There was a 7% increase in teen births between 2005 and 2006, whereas, in 2015, there were 12,086 teen births in Florida. Around 130 were under 14 years, and 11,950 were between age 15-19, while 16% of the deliveries to 15-19-year-olds were repeated births. Individuals between age 15-24, although made up just 13% of the state's total population; however, in 2011, this small group accounted for over 70% of all reported cases of Chlamydia. In 2014, among all the STDs cases reported in Florida, around 5% of primary/secondary Syphilis, 18% of Gonorrhea and 25% of Chlamydia cases were detected among adolescents between ages 13 and 19.
Floridian youth is particularly vulnerable to STDs. Several factors are responsible for this continuous incline in teen birth rates. The main reason is lack of awareness or knowledge on the prevention of the spread of STDs, and the other is the lack of access to proper follow-up medical care. STDs prevalence among youth is a serious issue because it can lead to many other chronic health issues, including infertility, hepatitis, cervical cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, etc.
With the plethora of medications available, more and more older adults are indulging in sexual activity. Though there is a rise in STD cases among older adults across the US, the number of cases is the highest in Florida. Over the past five years, Florida has reported the largest number of Syphilis infections among the greatest generation. CDC assessed that in 2018, there was a 16.7% rise in Syphilis diagnoses in males above 65 years or more. According to the Athena Health Database, the diagnosis rates for Gonorrhea, herpes simplex, Chlamydia, Syphilis, trichomoniasis, and hepatitis B increase 23% in people over 60-years.
As per the statistics by the Broward County Health Department, in 2009, around 20% of new HIV cases and nearly 25% of AIDS diagnoses in Florida were of people above the age of 50. Over half of these cases were reported in South Florida. These statistics suggest that older Floridians are at greater risk of transmitting HIV/AIDS infection.
Health experts state that most older Americans are sexually active but not practicing safe sex and may even be less knowledgeable about the disease and, therefore, never seek testing. In Florida, according to data from the F.L. Department of Health, Bureau of Communicable Diseases, around 60,888 people out of the reported 116,944 individuals living with HIV in 2017 were older adults.
Furthermore, 1,114 out of 4,940 (almost 23%) of people who received HIV diagnosis in Florida were senior citizens, and out of 2,044 people diagnosed with AIDS, 674 were older adults. In this context, the proportion of Blacks was still higher in this category with 40%, followed by 33% Whites, and 25% Hispanics in 2017. As far as the age is concerned, people between 50 and 59 had the most HIV diagnoses in 2017 (64%).
Generally, the curriculum's content and instructions are determined by the local school district policy following the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. Florida school districts are responsible for developing content for sexual health education courses (Family Life) based on policies that reflect local concerns and values, as narrated in Section 1003.42(3) Florida Statute.
A majority of Floridian districts have a district-specific written policy about the provision of comprehensive health education. It includes topics on sexual health education (Family Life). If any district hasn't developed such a system, it will utilize the state's policy.
CDC suggests that school districts need to encourage broad community participation to ensure school health education programs and policies effectively prevent the spread of STDs and HIV/AIDS. The programs must be determined locally after endorsing the community values where the curricula should be sequential and well-planned. Obtaining input from the community is an integral part of devising the health education policy and selecting programs that reflect those policies.
The overall rate of people living with HIV in Florida per 100,000 people was 607 in 2018, and the percentage of people living with HIV was 72.7% for males and 27.3% for females.
In terms of race/ethnicity, the proportion of African-Americans was the highest in the rate of newly diagnosed HIV infections with 40%, followed by Latinos and Hispanics with 34%, and 23.7% of total cases were reported among Whites in 2018.
rate from HIV infection (per 100,000 people) was also the highest among Blacks
in 2018 with 48.6 percentage, followed by 31.3% Whites and 17.3% Hispanics. In
2018, a considerable decline was noted in the rate of new HIV cases in the
African-American population with 50.9% (per 100,000 people) compared to 64.1%
in 2017. However, in Hispanics, there was an increase noted in 2018, with 30.9%
reported cases compared to 29.9% in 2017.
Select a city below to see more local STD testing options
|Sarasota, FL||Zolfo Springs, FL|
|Rerdell, FL||Curlew, FL|
|Paola, FL||Aqui Esta, FL|
|Tropical Park, FL||Seminole, FL|
|Crooked Lake Park, FL||Westwood Lakes, FL|
|River Forest, FL||Waters Lake, FL|
|Palmona Park, FL||Lake Forest Hills, FL|
|Longbeach, FL||Indianola, FL|
|Stacey Street, FL||Santa Barbara Shores, FL|
|Belleair Bluffs, FL||Gifford, FL|
|Bethlehem, FL||Usher, FL|
|Clara, FL||Azalea Park, FL|
|Romeo, FL||Gulf Breeze, FL|
|Bay Pines, FL||Dellwood, FL|
|Indian Pass, FL||Meadow Oaks, FL|
|Childs, FL||Sugarmill Woods, FL|
|Rutland, FL||Morriston, FL|
|Lake Kerr, FL||Balm, FL|
|East Mandarin, FL||Schall Circle, FL|
|Okaloo, FL||Shell Island, FL|
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.
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.
It is recommended to get tested for STDs if you have had unprotected sexual contact, multiple sexual partners, or if you are experiencing symptoms associated with STDs. Additionally, regular testing is recommended as part of routine sexual health care, even in the absence of symptoms, especially for individuals who are sexually active.
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.
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.
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.