In 2018, the state of Illinois reported a sharp incline in the number of common, reportable sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) cases. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were declared the top three STDs statewide. Young adults and adolescents were disproportionally impacted by chlamydia and gonorrhea, while men who have sex with men (MSM) were most impacted by syphilis. Black non-Hispanics were disproportionally affected by the three STDs.
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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 Illinois. 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.
Illinois STD Data
According to the Illinois state STD surveillance report 2018, the rate of chlamydia in the state was 602.7 per 100,000 people, and the state reported over 77,320 cases that year, which is why it was ranked 9th in the 50 US states for chlamydia incidences.
The same report suggests that the gonorrhea rate in the state was 198 per 100,000 people, with over 25,420 cases reported in 2018, making the state 16th most badly affected US state out of the 50 states regarding gonorrhea rates. The rate of primary/secondary syphilis in Illinois was 110 per 100,000 people, and the state reported 1,408 cases overall. It was the 13th most impacted state in the USA regarding the number of syphilis cases.
Another alarming situation was noted in the rate of congenital syphilis, which was over 19 cases per 100,000 live births, and 29 cases were reported overall. The rate of congenital syphilis was higher among black non-Hispanics in 2018, with over 14 cases identified per 100,000 live births in this community. Moreover, the white non-Hispanic population reported 2 cases of congenital syphilis per 100,000 live births, and Hispanics reported 2.7 cases/100,000 live births in Illinois.
According to Illinois Department of Public Health, chlamydia is the most commonly reported STI (sexually transmitted infection) in Illinois, with approximately 65,000 cases reported every year statewide. In Illinois, at least 17,000 gonorrhea cases are reported annually. Syphilis is the most commonly reported STI among males, specifically MSM, and every year the state records 1,600 syphilis cases.
According to the CDC state health profile, Illinois was the 6th most impacted US state among the 50 states for having the biggest HIV diagnoses in 2015. The situation got worse by 2018 when, according to a report by the AIDSVu, there were a total of 35,841 people living with HIV in Illinois. During the same year, the total number of new diagnoses of HIV in the state was 1361 adults and adolescents.
Considering the data from the state health profile of Illinois, an estimated number of 1,472 adults and adolescents were newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2015. Considering the same data, Illinois ranked 6th among the 50 U.S states, having the largest HIV diagnoses in 2015. Chicago, which is a metropolitan city, has the biggest number of HIV cases in the state.
According to the CDC, one in every seven HIV-positive individuals is not aware of their HIV status. Around 40 percent of the newly diagnosed cases are due to individuals who do not know their HIV status. As per the estimates released by Illinois HIV Connect, only 13 percent of the people in Illinois that make up around 5,765 individuals of the total people living with HIV in Illinois are not aware of their HIV status. Comparing the data from 2015 and 2018, the number of undiagnosed residents has decreased as more people are getting tested for HIV.
In Chicago, which is the biggest city of the state, according to the HIV surveillance report, In 2015 Chicago was reported to have 913 new diagnoses and the number of newly diagnosed cases in 2018 was 760 cases. In 2019, the numbers reduced to 652, which was the lowest number since the last two decades. Comparing the data from 2018 and 2019, there was a 14% decrease in HIV cases in Chicago.
In Illinois, chlamydia rates are noticeably higher in the female population than males, with 760.8 cases/100,000 females and 437.9 cases/100,000 males in 2018. The state's annual STD surveillance report revealed that females make up a larger chunk of all chlamydia cases reported in Illinois each year, and in 2018, over 64.3% of chlamydial infections were reported among females while males reported 35.6% of all cases.
It is worth noting that chlamydia rates disproportionally impact the black non-Hispanic community than any other racial group in Illinois. Blacks reported 1,747.1 cases/100,000 black population while black Hispanics reported 572.5 cases/100,000 people. white non-Hispanics reported 221.2 cases/100,000 people, and 535.8 cases per 100,000 population were diagnosed among American Indian/Alaskan Native.
The 15-19-year age group and the 20-24-year-old people reported the highest number of chlamydia cases with 2,225.7 per 100,000 and 3,212.1 per 100,000 population, respectively, and comprised over 63% of cases in 2018.
For several years, Illinois recorded a balance between male and female gonorrhea rates, but from 2017 onwards, males started reporting higher rates. In 2018, male population reported 244 cases/100,000 people compared to 153.9 cases/100,000 female population. Males accounted for over 60%, and females reported 39.6% of all gonorrhea cases.
In 2018, the black non-Hispanic population reported a higher number of cases with 751.4 cases/100,000 people, American Indian/Alaskan Native non-Hispanics reported 212.2 cases/100,000 people, and Hispanics reported 126.2 cases per 100,000 population. White non-Hispanics reported 64.5 cases/100,000 people. The most affected age groups regarding gonorrheal infection rate were the 15-19-year-olds, 20-24-year-olds, and the 25-29-year-olds with 526.7, 858.9, and 631.7 cases per 100,000 population, respectively.
Primary and secondary syphilis was more common among males than females, with the former reporting 20.5 cases/100,000 males compared to 1.8 cases/100,000 females. Black non-Hispanics reported the highest number of infections with a rate of 29.7/100,000 people, followed by American Indian/Alaskan Native non-Hispanics with 21.2/100,000 people and 15.5 cases/100,000 were reported in Hispanics.
Around 5.3 cases per 100,000 population were reported in white non-Hispanics. No single age group was more affected by syphilis in Illinois, but 20-24, 25-29, and 30-34-year-olds reported the highest number of cases.
According to a report by AIDSVu, the total number of people living with HIV in Illinois in 2018 were 35, 841. 79.9% of the people living with HIV were males, while 20.1% were females. The rate of people living with HIV in Illinois per 100,000 in 2018 was 335. Of the total cases, 46.1% were reported in black Americans, 20.1% in Hispanic or Latin population, and 26. 8% of the cases were reported in white Americans.
31.6% of the cases reported belonged to the age group 55 years and above. 27.1% in age 45 to 54 years, 19.7% from individuals 35 to 44 years, 17.6%, and 3.9% in age groups 25 t0 34 and 13 to 24 respectively.
The number of HIV-related deaths in 2018 in Illinois was 543, while the rate of death in the state per 100,000 population was 5. 77.3% HIV related deaths were reported in males while 22.7% in females.
Considering the newly diagnosed cases, 77.7 of the total cases in males were transmitted due to male sexual contact, 6.8% due to heterosexuality, and 7.5% due to injection use. In females, 74.1% of cases were due to heterosexual contact, and 22.5% were due to contaminated injection/syringe use.
Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Section Outbreak Plan is developed to encourage coordinated efforts between local health jurisdictions and the IDPH STD Section to respond to rising rates of STDs in Illinois (excluding Chicago). The department is responsible for maintaining the outbreak plan, memos, and template memos stored on the IDPH shared network drive. The state's 97 certified local health departments have to conduct initial surveillance and get involved in direct case management activities. These health departments serve 100 out of 102 counties in Illinois. In the two remaining counties, these services are offered by the STD Section directly. Moreover, the STD section Surveillance and Evaluation Coordinator (SEC) has to identify, track, and coordinate responses to outbreaks with the Syphilis Prevention Coordinator (SPC) guidance.
The Illinois Ryan White Part B Program under the Ryan White CARE Act is authorized to examine and offer treatment to STD cases to prevent their progression into HIV. The funding is administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the program is responsible for providing uninsured, low-income, and under-insured HIV-positive individuals in Illinois access to supportive services.
Several counties have their dedicated STD programs, such as the Lake County STI/HIV program is designed to provide comprehensive care/prevention services to at-risk populations. HIV counseling/testing, clinical services for STIs, and treatments to people diagnosed with an STI. Furthermore, risk reduction counseling, syphilis/gonorrhea/chlamydia screening, and health education is also provided to county residents.
The Getting to Zero Illinois (GTZ-IL) is a 5-year comprehensive plan to end the HIV/STD epidemic in Illinois by 2030. The plan includes goals/strategies devised to reduce new HIV transmissions and help Illinois get to a functional zero rate of HIV/STDs. The program offers services to treat co-occurring conditions, including screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and vaccination against infectious diseases.
Since HIV has been termed a global epidemic, health authorities are working to reduce the number of cases of HIV across the United States. There have been federal initiatives like the Ryan White Part B program and AIDS Drug Assistance Program, ADAP that provide funding to state-based programs to help create awareness, provide essential treatment, etc., to all patients of HIV, especially those belonging to the low-income groups.
AIDS Chicago works for the betterment of individuals with HIV in the biggest cities of the state. The organization works to provide advocacy, housing, health care services, including the provision of the essential treatment and health insurance to the people living with HIV. the organization also has a knowledge and collaboration center which is responsible for creating awareness in the general public regarding the benefits of early testing, diagnosis and the ways to prevent the spread of the virus.
Getting to Zero Illinois , as the name suggests, is yet another organization that works towards reducing the number of HIV cases in the state. The organization provides essential treatment, medications, and case management facilities to people living with HIV in Illinois.
The Illinois HIV action alliance, IHAA, is an agency working towards the bigger cause of ending social stigma and civilization surrounding HIV. The agency works towards advocating the rights of HIV-positive individuals.
Illinois department of healthcare and family services provides medical services through managed care services, medications, housing, and nursing facilities to HIV patients. Their services also include home-delivered meals and a personal emergency response system, to name a few.
Illinois’ Medical Monitoring Project (MMP) is a surveillance project launched by the Illinois Department of Public Health in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The state is among the 26 project areas nationwide that receive funding to conduct MMP.
For this project, a sample of six hundred HIV infected individuals 18 years or above, 200 from outside of Chicago and 400 from within Chicago, are selected every year from the National HIV Surveillance System. The project then determines local and national estimates for people in care for HIV. The researchers gather information on numerous vectors, including behaviors, type and quality of care received, clinical outcomes, and whether they were satisfied with the HIV care/prevention services.
Select a city below to see more local STD testing options
|Princeville, IL||Havana, IL|
|Makanda, IL||Grandview, IL|
|Auburn, IL||Oraville, IL|
|Rankin, IL||Kirkwood, IL|
|Maunie, IL||Ward, IL|
|Mendon, IL||Lomax, IL|
|Boynton, IL||Germantown Hills, IL|
|Exposition View, IL||Paw Paw, IL|
|Plum Valley, IL||Burtons Bridge, IL|
|Camp Ground, IL||Tampico, IL|
|Newcastle, IL||Ozark, IL|
|Jamestown, IL||Kellyville, IL|
|Emden, IL||Oakland, IL|
|Roaches, IL||Alvin, IL|
|Exline, IL||Medora, IL|
|Wilkinson, IL||Twin Grove, IL|
|Richfield, IL||Walz, IL|
|Daysville, IL||Knapp, IL|
|Deers, IL||Layfield, IL|
|Danforth, IL||Walnut Prairie, IL|
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.
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.
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.
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.
Standard STD testing can detect common sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and hepatitis B and C. Additional tests may be required for less common STDs or specific situations.
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.