STD Testing in Iowa

Sexually transmitted disease (STDs) in the US state of Iowa have been climbing for the past ten years. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), the state has been witnessing an outbreak of common STDs including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and primary/secondary syphilis.

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STD testing centers in Iowa

State health department is unclear whether this increase is due to expanded access to testing or increasing disease transmission, or both. As per the state health officials, STI (sexually transmitted infections) testing although got reduced in 2020 due to the coronavirus epidemic, still, there was a 30% increase in gonorrhea cases and a whopping 53% rise in syphilis, compared to 2019 statistics.

"Regardless of the exact cause of these increases, we do know that more individuals are testing positive. Whether this indicates a growing trend of increased transmission or simply more individuals seeking testing, it indicates there is more infection than we were previously aware," stated the state health department.

STDs refer to a group of infections predominantly transmitted via sexual intercourse. However, their infection range isn’t limited to the reproductive organs as STDs can infect different body sites. Moreover, STDs can be transmitted by all types of sex, such as anal, vaginal, and oral. Common STDs include gonorrhea, chlamydia, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), herpes, human papillomavirus, and syphilis. In Iowa, chlamydia is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted disease. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are caused by bacteria while HIV is caused by virus.

STD testing is important for every sexually active individual in Iowa and across the USA because both statewide and nationwide trends suggest an alarming spike in STDs cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) STD Surveillance Report 2019, around 1,808,703 chlamydia cases were reported to the agency, making it the most common reportable disease in the USA that year and marking a 2.8% increased from 2018. Approximately 616,392 gonorrhea cases were recorded, marking a whopping 92% increase compared to 2009 statistics. About 29,813 cases of syphilis at all stages were reported among which over 38,900 were primary/secondary syphilis cases. The country has been witnessing an increase in Primary/syphilis cases as every year 11.2% increase in cases is reported to the CDC.

If left undiagnosed and untreated, STDs can lead to severe health consequences, including irreversible and permanent damage to the reproductive tract. This could cause chronic pain across the abdominal area and impact an individual’s ability to have children. Untreated STIs and STDs also increase an individual’s vulnerability to HIV. However, these adverse health consequences could be avoided if people undergo regular screening for STDs. Make STD testing a compulsory part of your annual health checkup and those with multiple partners should get tested every three to six months.

Labcorp

No Appointment Required

11208 Aurora Ave Bldg 12, Urbandale, Iowa 50322

38.53 mile

Tel: 5152784411


Tests Offered

  • • Gonorrhea Testing
  • • Syphilis Testing
  • • Hepatitis A Testing
  • • Hepatitis B Testing
  • • Hepatitis C Testing
  • • Herpes Testing
  • • Chlamydia Testing
  • • Rapid HIV Testing
  • • Conventional HIV Testing

See Tests & Prices

Today's best offer is: $10 off any order. Discount will be applied automatically.

Primary Health Care Incorporated

Accept all insurances. If the person cannot secure insurance there is a sliding fee scale for medical services as a federally qualified health center.

412 E Church St, Marshalltown, Iowa 50158

14.52 mile

Tel: (641) 753-4021


Appointment Required: Yes


Tests Offered

  • • Hepatitis C Testing
  • • Hepatitis B Testing
  • • TB Testing
  • • Gonorrhea Testing
  • • Syphilis Testing
  • • Herpes Testing
  • • Chlamydia Testing
  • • Rapid HIV Testing
  • • Conventional HIV Testing

Care Services Offered

  • • Family Planning
  • • Medication Adherence Education and Counseling
  • • Adult Hepatitis B Vaccine
  • • Hepatitis A Vaccine
  • • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • • Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
  • • STD Treatment

Prevention Services Offered

  • • STD Prevention/Education
  • • HIV/AIDS Prevention/Education
  • • HIV Test Counseling
  • • Hepatitis Prevention/Education

Support Services

  • • Case Management

Audiences

  • • General Public

Fees & Payment Information

  • • Fee
  • • Medicaid Accepted
  • • Medicare Accepted
  • • Sliding Scale
  • • Insurance Accepted
  • • Free HIV Testing

Languages

  • • English
  • • Spanish

Learn More

Primary Health Care Marshalltown Specialty Health

Accept all insurances. If the person cannot secure insurance there is a sliding fee scale for medical services as a federally qualified health center.

704 May St, Marshalltown, Iowa 50158

15.06 mile

Tel: (641) 752-4376


Appointment Required: Yes


Tests Offered

  • • Gonorrhea Testing
  • • Syphilis Testing
  • • Herpes Testing
  • • Chlamydia Testing
  • • Rapid HIV Testing
  • • Conventional HIV Testing

Care Services Offered

  • • Family Planning
  • • Medication Adherence Education and Counseling
  • • HIV/AIDS Medical Treatment
  • • Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
  • • STD Treatment

Prevention Services Offered

  • • STD Prevention/Education
  • • HIV/AIDS Prevention/Education
  • • HIV Test Counseling

Audiences

  • • Adults
  • • At Risk Persons
  • • General Public
  • • Low Income Persons
  • • Persons Practicing High Risk Behaviors
  • • Persons with HIV/AIDS
  • • Persons with STDs
  • • Women
  • • Pregnant Adolescents
  • • Pregnant Women
  • • Young Adults

Fees & Payment Information

  • • Fee
  • • Medicaid Accepted
  • • Medicare Accepted
  • • Sliding Scale
  • • Insurance Accepted

Languages

  • • English

Learn More

Obria Medical Clinics Ames Clinic

1606 Golden Aspen Dr, Suite 105, Ames, Iowa 50010

28.09 mile

Tel: (515) 620-5892


Appointment Required: No


Tests Offered

  • • Hepatitis C Testing
  • • Gonorrhea Testing
  • • Syphilis Testing
  • • Herpes Testing
  • • Chlamydia Testing
  • • Conventional HIV Testing

Care Services Offered

  • • STD Treatment

Prevention Services Offered

  • • STD Prevention/Education
  • • HIV/AIDS Prevention/Education
  • • Hepatitis Prevention/Education

Audiences

  • • Adolescents/Youth/Teens
  • • At Risk Persons
  • • General Public
  • • Low Income Persons
  • • Women
  • • Men
  • • African Americans/Blacks
  • • Asians/Pacific Islanders
  • • Hispanics/Latinos
  • • Men Who Have Sex with Men
  • • LGBT
  • • Gay Men
  • • Native Americans

Fees & Payment Information

  • • Fee
  • • Medicaid Accepted
  • • Sliding Scale
  • • Insurance Accepted

Languages

  • • English

Learn More

Primary Health Care East Side Clinic

3509 E 29th St, Des Moines, Iowa 50317

29.51 mile

Tel: (515) 248-1600


Appointment Required: Yes


Tests Offered

  • • Hepatitis C Testing
  • • Hepatitis B Testing
  • • Gonorrhea Testing
  • • Syphilis Testing
  • • Chlamydia Testing
  • • Rapid HIV Testing
  • • Conventional HIV Testing

Care Services Offered

  • • Medication Adherence Education and Counseling
  • • Adult Hepatitis B Vaccine
  • • Hepatitis A Vaccine
  • • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • • Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
  • • STD Treatment

Prevention Services Offered

  • • STD Prevention/Education
  • • HIV/AIDS Prevention/Education
  • • HIV Test Counseling
  • • Hepatitis Prevention/Education

Support Services

  • • PrEP Navigation
  • • Case Management

Audiences

  • • At Risk Persons
  • • General Public
  • • Low Income Persons
  • • Women
  • • Men

Fees & Payment Information

  • • Fee
  • • Medicaid Accepted
  • • Medicare Accepted
  • • Sliding Scale
  • • Insurance Accepted

Languages

  • • English
  • • Spanish

Learn More

Do I have an STD?

Use our confidential STD symptom checker to get an idea of what STDs/STIs your symptoms align with and what STD tests are recommended to you.

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Which Method of STD Testing is Suitable for Me?

STD testing options in Iowa

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 Iowa. Check them out to find out which option is suitable for you.

Private testing (Walk-in clinic)

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.

Doctor's office

Another option is to simply visit your regular clinic and talk to your doctor.

At-home STD testing

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.

Community health centers and community clinics

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.

Are STD tests expensive in Iowa?

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.

How long does it usually take for results to come back for an STD test in Iowa?

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.

Test Advisor

Types of STD tests

Know all about STD testing options, and the costs of different STD tests.

Iowa STD Data

STD data & statistics in Iowa


According to IDPH, Iowa state reported 14,695 chlamydia cases in 2018, which is 5.8% higher than 2017, and 2,839 gonorrhea cases, which is over 28% higher than 2017 rates. Moreover, there were nearly 283 syphilis cases reported to the department, marking a 1.7% decrease from 2017. Though less STD tests were performed in 2020 since the state’s health department’s focus was shifted to COVID-19 testing, but going by the 2019 statistics, there was a 53% increase in syphilis and 30% increase in gonorrhea cases.

Polk County reported the highest number of chlamydial infections with around 3,111 cases in 2017 followed by the Linn County where the health department recorded higher number of gonorrhea cases with 355 in 2017. Third most impacted county in Iowa was the Des Moines County, which reported 357 gonorrhea cases in 2017. It is worth noting that Des Moines County located in southeast Iowa reported a 296% rise in gonorrhea cases between 2016 and 2016, which was the highest incline rate for Iowa in the past ten years.

In 2019, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported that there were 16,046 chlamydia cases at a rate of 508 cases/100,000 population. The state recorded 5,310 gonorrhea cases at a rate of 168 cases/100,000 people. According to the IDPH, chlamydia rose by 9.3% in 2019 compared to 2018 rates whereas gonorrhea recorded a 9.7% increase from 2018. However, the IDPH claims that the state has been recording higher STD rates since 2011. in 2011, Iowa reported 10,928 chlamydia cases and 1,966 gonorrhea cases.

Testing for HIV is Vital

The human immunodeficiency virus, commonly known as HIV, has been termed a global epidemic by the World Health Organization, owing to the widespread of the disease. In the United States, the first case was found in 1981, and since then, it has become a cause of significant concern for the health authorities.

The Centers for Disease and Control, CDC, recommends annual screening for HIV for all the individuals between the ages 13 to 64 years, mainly if they belong to the risk groups such as gay, bisexual males, transgender people and ethnic minorities like African Americans or Black backgrounds.

As per the latest data, HIV has increased from 42.9 in the year 2011 to 45.9% in 2017. CDC revealed that one out of every seven HIV positive individuals do not know them being positive, and approximately 40% of the new infections are transmitted by the people who aren't aware of them being positive. Therefore, early diagnosis is beneficial for treating the disease as early as possible and to prevent the further spread of the disease.

Testing for HIV is essential for slowing down the spread of the disease. If people are unaware of their HIV status, they may be less likely to take precautions against transmitting the disease to their close ones. Another advantage of early testing is early treatment. If HIV treatment starts early, individuals can live everyday life, and the disease will not progress to a life-threatening disease called AIDS.

HIV Rates in Iowa

In Iowa, the numbers of newly diagnosed HIV cases have dropped drastically for the third year in arrow since 1998. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health data, by the end of 2019, only 98 adults and adolescents were newly diagnosed with HIV in the state, which is 16 per cent lower than the statistics of 2018. The numbers of 2019 have also been the lowest since 2015.

According to the state health profile of Iowa by CDC, in 2015, there were a total of 126 adults and adolescents newly diagnosed with HIV in the state. Based on the total number of favourable cases and the newly diagnosed cases, Iowa was ranked 35th among the 50 U.S states for having the highest number of HIV positive cases in 2015.

According to the HIV surveillance report by the Iowa Department of Public Health, the total numbers of newly diagnosed HIV cases in the state were 98, which has been the lowest recorded since 2015. The cases of newly diagnosed HIV have started a downward trend since 2016 after peaking at 137 new diagnoses in 2016. The total percentage of decrease from 2016 to 2017 was 9%, while from 2017 to 2016, by 7%, an approximately 16% decrease was observed from 2018 to 2019.

According to the same report, 2938 people lived with HIV in the state. The rate of people living with HIV per 100,000 was 93. According to the HIV surveillance report, as of December 2019, around 99 counties of Iowa had at least one person living with HIV. However, in Polk County, the HIV prevalence was recorded the highest at 172 per 100,000 individuals. The second-highest numbers were recorded in Pottawattamie County, with an HIV prevalence of 159 per 100,000.

Age, Race, Gender,and Ethnic Disparities

The Iowa State Public Health Department reported that chlamydia diagnosis rate was particularly higher among young adults, aged between 15 and 24. In 2019, the state reported higher STD rates among African-Americas as they were around eight times more likely to get diagnosed with an STD than non-Hispanic white race. Furthermore, Alaska Natives, Native Americans, and other races were at least 3 times more likely to report an STD. On the other hand, Hispanic or Latinos were two times more likely than white race to report an STD.

It must be noted that racial and ethnic minorities aren’t the only group of population experiencing a spike in STD rates in Iowa state. Bisexual and gay men account for half of the primary and secondary syphilis cases and are over 40 times more likely to report gonorrhea compared to heterosexual males. The most alarming factor of STD outbreak is that young, college students are more vulnerable to chlamydia and gonorrhea than any other age group.

State health officials claim that syphilis cases are rising among young females as well. In 2019, the state reported an alarming increase in syphilis case among females. Overall, syphilis cases increased in Iowa considerably with 360 cases in 2019 to 500 cases in 2020. The second most impacted population group regarding syphilis as men who have sex with men.

"Already in 2021, the number of cases among women has more than doubled, compared to 2020. So as you can imagine, as more populations are affected, there's more opportunity for the infection to spread," said George Walton, the state’s STD Program director.

HIV-Specific Data

According to the HIV Surveillance report by the Iowa Department of Public Health, the total number of people living with HIV in the state was 2938 as of December 31, 2019. During the same year, 98 people were newly diagnosed with the disease in the state.

AIDSVu released 2019 data for people living with HIV in Iowa and new diagnoses trends in the state. As per the report, of the total number of people living with HIV, approximately 77.5 per cent of males and 22.5 of the people living with HIV in Iowa were female residents. According to the same data, HIV was more prevalent in a White population of the state, 59%, followed by 22.7% in Black Americans and 10.5% in Hispanic/Latin populations.

Of the people living with HIV in Iowa, 33.8% were aged 55 years and above. 25.9% belonged to the age group 45 to 54 years, 20.9% were from the age group 35 to 44 years, 15.8% belonged to 25 to 34 years, and 3.6% of the cases were between the age group 13 to 24 years.

The report by AIDSVu further indicates that during the year 2019, there were a total of 58 HIV related mortalities. The rate of death in 2019 per 100,00 population was 2. Considering the modes of transmission of the virus, the most popular mode of transmission among males was male to male sexual contact, 73.7%. In contrast, in females, the most popular mode was heterosexual contact that attributed to 82% of the transmission.

State Initiatives

Some STDs that are reportable to the Iowa Department of Public Health include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV. The IDPH collects data on STDs to gain a better understanding of the way these infections are impacting the residents of the state. The data is also used to develop disease intervention strategies to address the negative consequences linked with STDs within different communities. Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) are especially designated health department staff who work with medical providers and patients to ensure that STD-infected patients and their partners have access to necessary resources for their health and working towards reducing infection’s transmission.

The Iowa Department of Public Health's Sexually Transmitted Disease Program is an important initiative launched to mitigate the adverse effects of STDs among Iowans. Iowa is a rural state and therefore, the state’s STD program has to collaborate with other agencies, interest groups, and organizations for the delivery of services and information. Under the STD Program, nearly 58 provider sites have been established for chlamydia and gonorrhea treatment and testing. The initiative is unique as it combines local health department and a broad network of medical providers to control the spread of STDs in Iowa.

Planned Parenthood is offering confidential STI and HIV testing in Iowa’s college campuses. People can get tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, HPV, HIV, trichomoniasis, and hepatitis. Planned Parenthood also helps diagnose Urinary Tract Infections, yeast infection, and bacterial vaginosis. The facility accepts almost all private insurance and most forms of public insurance.

HIV initiatives in Iowa

Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa, has a number of HIV care and prevention programs for its residents. The HIV programs are divided into three sectors, HV care and prevention, Data collection and disease reporting and HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis integration programs. Under the HIV care and prevention program, IDPH provides education and awareness on the importance of HIV testing and prevention methods to the general public, especially the at-risk communities. IDPH also provides case management, medical assistance, mental health services, and in some cases, financial assistance to the HIV positive residents of Iowa.

Iowa Department of Public Health officials have made testing for HIV essential for people belonging to the risk groups such as gay or bisexual men, transgender females, and ethnic minorities like African American individuals. Together with the risk groups, pregnant and nursing mothers need to get tested to pass the virus to their babies during pregnancy or through breastfeeding.

Certain medications such as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) can be taken to reduce the risk of HIV. PrEP is mainly prescribed to people belonging to the risk groups to reduce the transmission of the virus. This preventive medication has over 99 per cent effectiveness, and it has been termed more effective than condoms or any other preventive measures.

The primary health care project, PHC, is yet another organization working in the state to provide the necessary HIV related care. HIV patients can get medical, dental care, behavioral health and case management services at the PHC. Under this project, Free HIV testing and screening services are also provided to Des Moines, Iowa residents.

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics have multidisciplinary programs that provide a range of HIV care and prevention services to the state's residents. These services include primary HIV care, HIV education and awareness, medical assistance, and individuals from low-income groups. It also provides financial assistance services.

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  • Krebs, N., 2022. State health officials report syphilis cases increasing in Iowa. Iowa Public Radio. Available at: https://www.iowapublicradio.org/ipr-news/2022-01-01/state-health-officials-report-syphilis-cases-increasing-in-iowa
  • Bureau of HIV, STD, and hepatitis, 2021. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Program - Iowa Department of Public Health - Protecting and Improving the Health of Iowans. idph.iowa.gov . Available at: https://idph.iowa.gov/hivstdhep/std
  • Calvin, A., 2019. Sexually transmitted diseases on the rise in Iowa, following national trends. Des Moines Register. Available at: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/health/2019/04/08/sexually-transmitted-diseases-rise-iowa-chlamydia-gonorrhea-polk-linn-des-moines-county-health-2019/3403058002/
  • CDC, 2021. National Overview - sexually transmitted disease surveillance, 2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/std/statistics/2019/overview.htm
  • Iowa Department of Public Health, 2021. Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Health. Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal. Available at: https://tracking.idph.iowa.gov/Health/Sexually-Transmitted-Diseases/Sexually-Transmitted-Diseases-and-Health
  • Iowa State University, 2021. Information about Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Testing. Student Wellness. Available at: https://www.studentwellness.iastate.edu/sexuality/testing/
  • Newland, E., 2021. Sexually transmitted infections at an all-time high among college students. Iowa State Daily. Available at: https://www.iowastatedaily.com/news/sexually-transmitted-infections-at-an-all-time-high-in-college-students/article_42fa81ec-ab6b-11eb-a1e7-e7e0d3d00604.html
  • Ramm, M., 2020. Sexually transmitted diseases on rise in Iowa, New State Data Shows. The Gazette. Available at: https://www.thegazette.com/health-care-medicine/sexually-transmitted-diseases-on-rise-in-iowa-new-state-data-shows/

STD testing FAQs

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.

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.

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?

See how simple and easy it is to get tested for STDs in Iowa today

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.

1

Order your STD test

Visit your nearest lab or clinic, order your home testing kit online, and follow the given instructions from an STD testing provider.

2

Undergo the test

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.

3

Receive you results

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.

Concerned about an STD?

Help stop the spread of STDs by knowing your status. Get tested today!