STD Testing in Kentucky

The Commonwealth of Kentucky has relatively low rates of common, reportable sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and primary/secondary syphilis. However, the rates of all these three STDs are on the rise lately. Still, as per 2018-19 statistics, Kentucky is among the least affected states in the USA as far as common STDs are concerned.

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Medically reviewed by one or more members of the editorial board

Explore Nearby Options

Find an STD testing location near Kentucky

Believe it or not, untreated STDs pose a serious threat to your reproductive health and overall health. These infections can transform into diseases and cause long-term, drastic health consequences such as male/female infertility, cervical cancer among females, and pelvic inflammatory disease.

Considering the rising rates of STDs in Kentucky, including previously considered rare infections in this region, such as syphilis and gonorrhea, it is important to be mindful of your choices. The young population is at a higher risk of contracting STIs because, as per the CDC, around 2.4 million new cases of STDs were reported nationwide in 2017, and nearly 40% of infected individuals were aged 15 to 25. This could be attributed mainly to young people engaging in risky sexual behavior.

Similarly, the rate of newborn death has increased across the state as they catch syphilis from their mothers. In most Southern States, congenital syphilis increased from 360 in 2013 to over 916 in 2017. Ironically, all common STDs are treatable and preventable if only you adopt safe sex practices and get yourself tested every year.

Labcorp (kls Richmond)

No Appointment Required

1054 Center Dr, Ste 3, Richmond, Kentucky 40475

7.43 mile

Tel: 8596233260


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.

White House Clinics Richmond Clinic

Need to enroll as a patient.

401 Highland Park Dr, Richmond, Kentucky 40475

6.68 mile

Tel: (859) 626-7700

Tel: (859) 652-1140


Appointment Required: Yes


Tests Offered

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

Care Services Offered

  • • Family Planning
  • • Medication Adherence Education and Counseling
  • • Adult Hepatitis B Vaccine
  • • Hepatitis A Vaccine
  • • Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
  • • STD Treatment

Prevention Services Offered

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

Support Services

  • • Case Management

Audiences

  • • Adolescents/Youth/Teens
  • • Adults
  • • At Risk Persons
  • • General Public
  • • Low Income Persons
  • • Persons with HIV/AIDS
  • • Persons with STDs
  • • Women
  • • Men

Fees & Payment Information

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

Languages

  • • English
  • • Spanish

Learn More

Madison County Health Department Richmond Clinic

There is a nominal fee for STD and HIV testing. HPV Vaccine available for low income, uninsured adolescences age 9 to 18. Free condoms available.

214 Boggs Ln, Richmond, Kentucky 40475

6.68 mile

Tel: (859) 623-7312


Appointment Required: Yes


Tests Offered

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

Care Services Offered

  • • Family Planning
  • • Adult Hepatitis B Vaccine
  • • Hepatitis A Vaccine
  • • Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
  • • STD Treatment
  • • TB Treatment

Prevention Services Offered

  • • TB Prevention/Education
  • • STD Prevention/Education
  • • Partner Notification
  • • HIV/AIDS Prevention/Education
  • • HIV Test Counseling
  • • Condom Distribution

Support Services

  • • Case Management
  • • Drug Purchasing Assistance, including AIDS Drug Purchasing Assistance (ADAP)

Audiences

  • • Adolescents/Youth/Teens
  • • Adults
  • • General Public
  • • Low Income Persons
  • • Persons with HIV/AIDS
  • • Persons with STDs
  • • Women
  • • HIV Positive Persons
  • • Men

Fees & Payment Information

  • • Fee
  • • Medicaid Accepted
  • • Sliding Scale
  • • Donations Accepted

Languages

  • • English
  • • Spanish

Learn More

Clark County Health Department

HPV vaccines provided for those 18 and under through the VFC program.

400 Professional Ave, Winchester, Kentucky 40391

11.6 mile

Tel: (859) 744-4482

Tel: (859) 737-0338


Appointment Required: Yes


Tests Offered

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

Care Services Offered

  • • Family Planning
  • • Adult Hepatitis B Vaccine
  • • Hepatitis A Vaccine
  • • Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
  • • STD Treatment
  • • TB Treatment

Prevention Services Offered

  • • TB Prevention/Education
  • • STD Prevention/Education
  • • Partner Notification
  • • HIV/AIDS Prevention/Education
  • • HIV Test Counseling
  • • Condom Distribution

Support Services

  • • Case Management
  • • Drug Purchasing Assistance, including AIDS Drug Purchasing Assistance (ADAP)

Audiences

  • • Adolescents/Youth/Teens
  • • Adults
  • • General Public
  • • Low Income Persons
  • • Persons Practicing High Risk Behaviors
  • • Persons with HIV/AIDS
  • • Persons with STDs
  • • Persons with TB
  • • HIV Positive Persons
  • • Pregnant Adolescents
  • • Pregnant Women

Fees & Payment Information

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

Languages

  • • English
  • • Spanish

Learn More

Jessamine County Health Department

Free condoms available.

210 E Walnut St, Nicholasville, Kentucky 40356

16.81 mile

Tel: (859) 885-4149

Tel: (859) 885-1863


Appointment Required: Yes


Tests Offered

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

Care Services Offered

  • • Family Planning
  • • Adult Hepatitis B Vaccine
  • • Hepatitis A Vaccine
  • • Hepatitis B Treatment
  • • Hepatitis C Treatment
  • • Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
  • • STD Treatment
  • • TB Treatment

Prevention Services Offered

  • • TB Prevention/Education
  • • STD Prevention/Education
  • • Partner Notification
  • • HIV/AIDS Prevention/Education
  • • HIV Test Counseling
  • • Hepatitis Prevention/Education
  • • Condom Distribution

Support Services

  • • Case Management
  • • Drug Purchasing Assistance, including AIDS Drug Purchasing Assistance (ADAP)

Audiences

  • • Adolescents/Youth/Teens
  • • Adults
  • • At Risk Persons
  • • General Public
  • • Low Income Persons
  • • Persons Practicing High Risk Behaviors
  • • Persons with HIV/AIDS
  • • Persons with STDs
  • • Persons with TB
  • • Women
  • • HIV Positive Persons
  • • Sex Partners
  • • Pregnant Adolescents
  • • Pregnant Women
  • • Men
  • • Students
  • • Young Adults
  • • At Risk Youth

Fees & Payment Information

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

Languages

  • • English
  • • Spanish

Learn More

Do I have an STD?

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Which Method of STD Testing is Suitable for Me?

STD testing options in Kentucky

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

Testing MethodWaiting TimesSpeed of ResultsPositive Consultation

Private Testing (Walk-In Clinic)

10-20 Minutes with No Wait

24-72 Hours

Free With Positive Result

At-Home STD Testing

No Wait

5-11 Days

Free With Positive Result

Doctor Visit

with Insurance

Call for Appointment

7-10 Days

Co-Pay Required

Doctor Visit

without Insurance

Call for Appointment

7-10 Days

Out-of-Pocket Cost Required

Public Clinic

Limited Hours and Long Lines

7-14 Days

No

Learn more in our ultimate guide to STD testing.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Test Advisor

Types of STD tests

Get informed about the different STD testing options and the prices for each test.

Kentucky STD Data

STD data & statistics in Kentucky


As per the year 2017-18 STD surveillance data, Kentucky ranked 40th among all US states in chlamydia rates, with 435 cases. This is way lower than the national chlamydia rate. But, it is worth noting that the number of chlamydia cases in the state has risen about 10% over the past five years. In 2012, Kentucky reported 394 cases, which increased to 389 in 2013, 400 in 2014, and 435 in 2017-18. Despite that, Kentucky has the 2nd lowest chlamydia rate among other Southern states.

Gonorrhea prevalence in the state is fairly low and puts the state in the middle nationally. After population adjustment, Kentucky’s gonorrhea rate was 167.2 per 100,000 people in 2017. But, reportedly, gonorrhea rates have increased over 70% across the state since 2012. In 2012, Kentucky reported 97 cases/100,000 people, which increased slightly to 98 in 2013, and 98.6 in 2014 but jumped to over 167 by 2017-18. Still, Kentucky ranked in the bottom quarter in the Southern region.

A similar trend is noted in syphilis cases. Its prevalence in the state varies widely, especially since the past six years. But, it is still among the 25 states with the lowest primary/secondary syphilis rates. Kentucky has the third-lowest rate overall in the country, with 5.9 cases reported in 2018. It is reported that the rate of syphilis infections in Kentucky has almost doubled compared to the rate in 2012. Syphilis rates reportedly increased by 62% from 2014 to 2017. The rates were highest in Jefferson County during 2017-2018 with 46 cases/100,000 people, twice more than the statewide average of 16 cases. Jefferson County also recorded the highest number of gonorrhea cases, with 361/100,000 people.

HIV Rates in Kentucky

In Kentucky state, a disparity is noted in heterosexual black females compared to white females. Black females comprise nearly 47% of all new HIV diagnoses, while 44% were reported among white females. On the contrary, white males reportedly had the highest diagnosis rate with 64%, whereas new diagnosis rates among black males were 30% in 2018. Around 56% of HIV cases in Kentucky were diagnosed in MSM (men who have sex with men), 14% got infected via heterosexual intercourse, 10% contracted the virus via IDU (intravenous drug use), and 5% contracted it through both means between 2007 and 2017.

In 2018, around 7,337 people were living with HIV in the state, and the number of newly diagnosed cases was 372, AIDSVu reports. As per the statistics shared by the DPH for Public Health's HIV/AIDS Surveillance Program, by 2018, around 10,567 total HIV infections were detected among Kentuckians since 1982. This shows, there has been a considerable rise in the infection rate over the past five years.

The department also noted that out of these reported infections, 63% progressed to AIDS. Reportedly, among the 3,924 cases diagnosed since 007, nearly 1,530 or 39% progressed to AIDS by June 2018. The department published its HIV Surveillance Report, 2018, where it was reported that the annual HIV diagnosis rates remained steady between 2007 and 2016, with 7.1 to 9.0 cases per 100,000 people.

However, in Kentucky, injection drug use is a leading risk factor for HIV transmission. As per a cluster investigation carried out in January 2018 in Northern Kentucky, injection drug use was higher in those newly diagnosed with HIV, reported the Kentucky Department for Public Health. Moreover, as noted above, the rate of new HIV diagnoses in white, non-Hispanic Kentuckians is much higher than anywhere in the USA (52% and 26%, respectively). This could be partially attributed to the greater percentage of the White population across the state.

The transmission of HIV disease via injection drug use is a cause of concern for the state's department of health and public health officials. The number of cases reported in Northern Kentucky only increased from 2 in 2014 to 29 in 2018, whereas statewide, HIV cases via injection drug usage rose from 22 in 2014 to 67 in 2018.

Government Initiatives

In Kentucky, STDs are regarded as a public health crisis, and the rates are inclining when the state is dealing with the opioid epidemic. In the past five years, the rate of STDs has included by 30%, while funding has declined significantly as the state’s attention is diverted towards the opioid issue.

“We are seeing an increasing number of syphilis and other STD outbreaks associated with the opioid crisis. As rates go up, funding has gone down. So while STDs have increased by 30 percent in the last five years to reach an all-time high, the amount of federal money for prevention and education has consistently gone down since 2003, [which is] critical for states like Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio,” said the spokesperson for the National Coalition of STD Directors, Matt Prior.

Despite the decrease in funding, Kentucky state has launched several initiatives to deal with the STD crisis. the Kentucky Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention and Control Program’s primary goal is to prevent the spread and complexities associated with STDs. This initiative is designed to extend care provision and testing/treatment facilities across the state for common STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, genital herpes, trichomoniasis, and bacterial vaginosis (BV).

In Kentucky, local health departments are required to offer the testing facility for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis and provide treatment to people diagnosed with, exposed to, or at risk of getting an STD. Patients with other STDs/STIs will receive counseling about their condition and be referred to a healthcare provider to treat the disease. A service fee is charged, but the diagnosis is kept confidential.

However, if patients cannot pay, they won’t be denied testing or treatment opportunities, as per the state law. Moreover, according to state law, those who tested positive for an STD will mandatorily receive help from local health departments, and the care providers will follow up with them. The only condition patients need to abide by is getting tested regularly.

In Jefferson County, the state’s most badly affected area in STD rates, health officials are mandated to offer testing at local STD clinics. They may also visit local correctional facilities to serve those at-risk people who cannot access health care. Unlike other states where expedited partner therapy is allowed (according to which doctors can offer prescriptions to both partners even if one of them visits them), Kentucky prohibits this practice.

Initiatives to Prevent HIV

The Kentucky Department for Public Health HIV/AIDS Section is responsible for assessing the current and future rates/impact of HIV in the state. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Department for Public Health (DPH) has implemented a new program in collaboration with the University of Kentucky called the Kentucky Income Reinvestment Program (KIRP).

This initiative aims to improve health care delivery across the state via disease prevention, education, treatment, and professional services for people living with HIV. This program is launched alongside the existing Ryan White HIV/AIDS funded programs already implemented in Kentucky and harm reduction programs at the statewide operating local health departments.

According to DPH commissioner Jeff Howard, "this collaborative partnership will strengthen our capabilities to combat the spread of HIV in the region. This program is a first step in creating a more innovative approach to reaching at-risk populations, strengthening our public health approaches to disease prevention and providing improved care."

This initiative will entail pilot programs to fund innovative HIV prevention projects across the state and address barriers in access to care and supportive services for high-risk populations and those living with HIV.

Apart from preventing new HIV cases, this program will also attempt to educate existing health care providers/under-training health professions' students to address mental health issues and substance use disorders hindering effective HIV and medical care.

To deal with HIV outbreaks, the state's law allows all county health departments to offer a syringe exchange program to reduce the spread of infection and reduce drug usage.

Another important initiative is Data to Care public health strategy, in which HIV surveillance data is used to identify people living with HIV who aren't in care and link them to health care services. This program is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also supports them along the HIV care continuum.

Age, Gender, Social, and Ethnic Disparities

According to the 2013 Kentucky Minority Health Status Report, the rates of STDs vary by disease, ethnicity, and race in the state. National statistics reflect that racial/ethnic minorities make up the largest share of STDs. In contrast, in Kentucky, the rates of chlamydia and syphilis are higher among whites, whereas gonorrhea cases are highest among the black population. On the other hand, Hispanics reported the lowest rates of all three common STDs between 2009 and 2013.

Similarly, teen pregnancy rates are constantly declining in whites, blacks, and Hispanics in Kentucky. Overall, teen pregnancy rates are higher among blacks and Hispanics compared to whites.

Interestingly, in this state, Hispanic and black populations are younger than whites and are more likely not to own homes, earn less, and lack health insurance. But, in terms of high school graduation, Asians, blacks, whites all have similar standing.

Kentucky health officials claim that opioid and meth abuse has contributed significantly to rising STD rates statewide, but it broke all previous records in 2017. Opioid users are at a higher risk of contracting infectious diseases because they are more prone to engaging in unsafe sexual behavior, such as having unprotected sex.

HIV-Specific Data

According to the HIV Surveillance Report 2018, since the earliest reported cases of HIV back in 1982, most of the diagnoses of HIV among Kentucky residents have been reported in males with 83% (8,739 cases overall). In terms of age at the time of diagnosis, males aged 30-39 comprised 34% of all HIV cases, which is higher than any other age group among males. The same age group accounted for the highest number of cases among White males.

On the other hand, among Black males, 35% of all reported cases in 2018 were diagnosed in people aged 20-29 years, whereas 29% of cases were diagnosed in the 30-39 age group. Around 40% of HIV diagnoses among Hispanic males were identified in the 20-29 age group, and the 40-49 age group reported the lowest number of cases in this ethnicity.

White males between the 40-49 age group accounted for 23% of all reported HIV cases in 2018, while 20% of black males were diagnosed with the virus. Only 6% of blacks diagnosed with HIV were in their teens at the time of diagnosis, and 2% of white and Hispanic males were in their teens, comparatively.

A similar pattern is noted among HIV-infected females. The highest number of HIV cases (32%) were diagnosed in females aged 30-39. The rate was almost similar for Black and White females, whereas Hispanic females aged between 20 and 29 reported the highest number of cases (46%).

The highest number of cumulative HIV cases in 2018 determined the men having sex with men (MSM) as the primary exposure route as 67% of all cases among males had this cause of infection. Around 49% of adult females were exposed to the virus via heterosexual contact with an HIV-infected or high-risk individual, such as those who injected drugs.

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  • AlCross, 2018. Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise, even as funding to prevent and treat them is declining – Kentucky Health News. [online] Ci.uky.edu. Available at: https://ci.uky.edu/kentuckyhealthnews/2018/11/28/sexually-transmitted-diseases-are-on-the-rise-even-as-funding-to-prevent-and-treat-them-is-declining/
  • Athomestdkit.com. 2019. Kentucky STD Statistics & Rates - Find Testing Near Me | AtHomeSTDKit.com. [online] Available at: https://www.athomestdkit.com/states/kentucky-std-statistics-rates/
  • Chfs.ky.gov. 2021. Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention and Control Program - Cabinet for Health and Family Services. [online] Available at: https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/dehp/idb/Pages/std.aspx
  • Chfs.ky.gov. 2013. 2013 Kentucky Minority Health Status Report. [online] Available at: https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/Documents/KY2013MinorityHealthStatusReportDraftFinalEdits11202013.pdf
  • Mary Meehan, 2018. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Rise As Health Budgets Fall. [online] 89.3 WFPL News Louisville. Available at: https://wfpl.org/a-failure-of-public-health-sexually-transmitted-diseases-rise-as-health-budgets-fall/
  • NIDA, 2020. Kentucky: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms | National Institute on Drug Abuse. [online] National Institute on Drug Abuse. Available at: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/kentucky-opioid-involved-deaths-related-harms
  • Talerico, K., 2018. Kentucky STD rates are on the rise. Why? Blame the opioid crisis. [online] Courier-journal.com. Available at: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2018/09/17/opioid-crisis-kentucky-std-rates-rise-due-drug-abuse/1146202002/

How Does it Work?

See how simple and easy it is to get tested for STDs in Kentucky 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!