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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 Louisiana. 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.
Louisiana STD Data
Louisiana provides a clear reflection of the ongoing STDs epidemic in the country. One of the reasons why STD cases are on a rise in the state and nationally is that previously there were many federally funded testing facilities/clinics offering tests and treatment opportunities to vulnerable groups of population, particularly those who couldn't afford STD testing. However, today, the testing and treatment is in the hand of primary-care physicians who usually lack specialized training and resources to offer high quality STD prevention and care. Federal funding has received many cuts over the years, and the state has to take the burden of implementing measures to curb the number of STD cases. Louisiana's health care system is too fragmented to address the STD epidemic appropriately.
Still, the state is concerned about controlling the STD rates. In the past three years, Louisiana has taken many steps to reduce the incidence of congenital syphilis.
In 2014, the state government made it mandatory for pregnant females to undergo screening for congenital syphilis in the first and third trimesters. In 2016, the state introduced a case study program, which reviewed every case of congenital syphilis.
In 2018, the Department of Health started delivering penicillin to women who tested positive for syphilis or connected them with a trained physician to undergo proper treatment.
Moreover, the state has integrated the regional STD/HIV and HIV/STD/Hepatitis C testing task forces to identify local resources, gaps, and barriers to testing and address the issues. This has helped considerably in preventing STDs from spreading. The Louisiana Department of Health also initiated a home visiting program to inspect at-risk moms and their babies born with congenital syphilis. It is an incredibly innovative program launched to educate Louisiana residents to encourage timely screening and treatment of STDs. In 2018-19, Louisiana's rate of STD cases declined slightly due to the statewide efforts from the Louisiana Department of Health.
Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) works for the protection and promotion of health in the State. With the basic objective to ensure access to all medical, preventive, and rehabilitative services to the citizens, LDH has also come up with initiatives for the eradication of the HIV epidemic in the state.
The STD/HIV Program by LDH is a specialized program that helps in the coordination of statewide as well as federal and regional programs for the prevention and transmission of HIV/AIDS. The program also focuses on ensuring the provision of medical services and keeping track of the impacts of the epidemic in the State.
New Orleans and East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, are the two urban areas that have been most affected by the virus. The rate of individuals living with this virus is three times higher than the national average. The locality has been a center of attention by various local government bodies such as the Mayor’s office, Louisiana Department of Health, Hospitals, and Programs like STD/HIV programs. With the support from these bodies and following the national ‘Ending the HIV Epidemic’ initiative, the State of Louisiana has devised plans to confront and fight back the virus.
In line with the national initiatives to end the HIV epidemic, the local government bodies have come up with strategies tailored according to the needs of the community. These four fundamental strategies involve the diagnosis of individuals for early diagnosis and detection, treatment of HIV infection timely after the diagnosis, and getting the affected individuals virally suppressed. Prevention of HIV infections by interventions such as PrEP and Syringe service programs and rapid response to potential HIV outbreaks and prevention are strategies that the local bodies are following.
Louisiana health Access Program uses external funding sources to provide medical assistance, including the hospitalization and medication as well as insurance needed for HIV positive individuals. Under the Ryan White Part B program, the State of Louisiana receives grants for essential medical services specialized to AIDS/HIV patients.
Ryan White Part B Program funds are also utilized for providing awareness and education to the general public. The awareness session emphasizes the importance of testing and early diagnosis as well as enlightens the public about preventive measures.
Louisiana has a high rate of STDs, reports CDC. The state had the highest rate of syphilis cases in the country, with 61 cases per 100,000 people in 2017. The number may seem small, but it suggests that in 2017, around 3,000 residents in the state suffered from syphilis. On the other hand, the national average for syphilis was 31.4 cases/100,000 residents.
Chlamydia is another common STD that residents in Louisiana are struggling with. CDC states that Louisiana has the 2nd highest number of chlamydia cases in the country, with a shopping 742.4 cases/100,000 people. In contrast, the national average is 528.8 cases/100,000 residents.
As far as gonorrhea is concerned, data reveals that Louisiana has the 3rd highest rate of gonorrheal infections with 256.7 cases/100,000 people, which is significantly higher than the national average (171 cases/100,000 people). The standards were higher than the national averages in all three most common STDs, namely chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
According to the US Census Bureau, the total population of the State of Louisiana in 2015 was 4,670,724, of which an estimated 63% were white, 32% African-American, 2% Asian, and other population consisted of individuals from Hispanic and Cajun backgrounds.
The state has been disproportionately affected by HIV. By the year 2015, 20,480 individuals were known to be living with HIV. During the year 2015 alone, 1,142 individuals were newly diagnosed with HIV infection, of which 75% were male. African-Americans comprise a larger proportion of newly diagnosed HIV cases. According to the CDC, during 2018, the number of newly diagnosed HIV individuals has decreased only a little to 972. In 2018, 20,907 individuals were still diagnosed as HIV positive cases.
According to the 2015 statistics from the Louisiana Department of Health, there were 32,305 new chlamydia diagnoses per 100,000 residents, 72% of whom were females and 28% males. Moreover, the African-American population accounted for the highest number of cases. Reportedly, 73% of the overall chlamydial infections were reported in blacks, 22% in whites, and 3% in Hispanics/Latinos. Around 33% of the diagnoses were reported in people below 20 years and 38% in people between 20 and 24. 16% of the reported chlamydia cases were recorded among people aged between 25 and 29 years, and 13% were above 30.
Louisiana reported 10,274 new gonorrheal diagnoses in 2015 with a rate of 221 cases/100,000 people. Out of these, 54% were females and 46% males who got diagnosed with chlamydia. Around 81% of the diagnoses were reported in the African-American community, 16% among white, and 2% in Hispanics. The most at-risk demographic group in Louisiana was people aged 20-24, as they had 36% of all diagnoses, followed by people under the age of 20 with 29% of all gonorrhea diagnoses. 18% of diagnoses were recorded in people aged 25 or above.
In Louisiana, around 35% of the population is black, and it is the worst affected demographic group in the state. Blacks accounted for about 75% of all primary and secondary syphilis diagnoses in Louisiana during 2013 and 2014, and 78% in 2015. Comparatively, 22% of the reported primary and syphilis cases were white in 2015, which decreased slightly to 20% in 2015. Between 2013 and 2014, around 2% of Hispanics reportedly were diagnosed with primary and secondary syphilis, and the figure declined to 1% in 2015.
In the year 2015, there were 20,480 cases of people living with HIV (PLWH). Out of these, 70% were males while 29% were females and transgender accounted for 1% of the HIV cases. The percentage of African Americans or Black Americans living in Louisiana was almost half of the white residents, yet they accounted for 72% of the total PLWH. White Americans with HIV accounted for 19 %, while individuals with Hispanic backgrounds accounted for almost 5 % of the newly diagnosed cases in 2015.
The majority of the cases reported in the urban areas are that of gay or bisexual males or other males having sex with male partners. In over 19 % of the cases, the transmission of the virus occurred due to injection or drug usage. Individuals of ages 13 to 24 made up around 20% of the total positive cases while the greatest number of diagnoses was made for the age group 25 to 44 years, i.e., 52%.
According to data shared by AidsVU, in 2018, there were around 20,900 people living with HIV in Louisiana, with 972 newly diagnosed cases of HIV. Out of these, 78% were males living with HIV, and 29% were females. African-Americans accounted for the highest proportion of HIV cases, with over 68% of all HIV diagnoses, followed by whites with over 24% new diagnoses. Hispanics/Latinos reportedly accounted for just 5% of all cases in Louisiana in 2018.
Senior citizens in Louisiana were the most at-risk demographic group as out of the total cases reported in 2018, around 28% were reported among people aged 55 or above. The second at-risk group was people aged between 45 and 54, with over 24% of all cases. Approximately 23% of all cases were reported among people 35-44, 23.3% in the 25-34 age group, while youth (people between ages 13-24) accounted for 4.5% of all HIV diagnoses.
The prevalence of the virus was more in urban areas as compared to the rural localities. During the year 2015, New Orleans had the biggest number of PLWH. Of the total diagnoses, 33% of individuals belonged to New Orleans, followed by Baton Rouge at 22%, and Shreveport at 11 %.
According to Louisiana's sex education law, public schools aren't necessarily required to teach sex education. It is upon the discretion of the local school board to decide about it. Furthermore, it is mandatory in Louisiana that the sex education curriculum emphasizes abstinence until marriage as the suggested and acceptable method to prevent pregnancy or STDs. Abortion, as a topic, is strictly avoided.
Another interesting aspect is that in Louisiana, it is necessary that abortion is taught within another subject like biology, and a separate class cannot be conducted on this subject. From kindergarten to sixth grade, sex education is not permitted except in Orleans Parish, which allows sex education in the third grade. However, the school board must determine the grade level from when to provide sex education beyond sixth grade.
Schools cannot provide resource materials or give out contraceptives that may depict explicit homosexual acts. Louisiana also doesn't address topics like HIV or STD prevention through sexual education. Local agencies are authorized to select and approve the curriculum for sexual health. Parents or guardians have the right to opt-out students from the sex-education program as well as STD prevention instruction.
Select a city below to see more local STD testing options
|Dossman, LA||Duty, LA|
|Bogalusa, LA||Eden Isle, LA|
|Evergreen Plantation, LA||Puckett, LA|
|Canbeal, LA||Kolin, LA|
|Morgan Bluff, LA||White Hills, LA|
|Lacour, LA||Cypress Creek, LA|
|Lozes, LA||Prospect, LA|
|Timber Trails, LA||Boudreaux, LA|
|Burke, LA||Boyce, LA|
|Voorhies, LA||Leland, LA|
|Elm Grove, LA||Lotus, LA|
|Crichton, LA||Clarence, LA|
|Kraft, LA||Barso, LA|
|Geismar, LA||Jamestown, LA|
|Bayou Geneve, LA||Taylor, LA|
|Georgia, LA||Rose Bluff, LA|
|Alfords, LA||Fortune Fork, LA|
|Dulac, LA||Grimes, LA|
|Fort Jesup, LA||De Loutre, LA|
|Odenburg, LA||Simpson, LA|
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.
Similar to what was previously mentioned, herpes infections are known for their recurring tendencies – causing outbreaks now and then and thus causing an intermittent spike in the patient’s viral load for specific instances. In addition to that, other STDs also take time to proliferate and produce a sufficient viral load that could warrant a positive and, more importantly, accurate diagnosis and detection from the tests being administered. As such, detecting an STD a few days following exposure is often complex and unpredictable – leading physicians to follow a certain timeframe instead for testing STDs instead of blindly testing immediately following exposure. Physical exams, however, may supplement inaccurate laboratory diagnoses, especially in cases where the test is prone to false results.
A nucleic acid amplification test is a laboratory procedure that professionals often perform to make detecting a particular nucleic acid or gene being targeted easier and more convenient while still ensuring that the sample being collected is relatively minimal. Nucleic acid amplification tests, or NAATs, are usually the mainstay diagnostic test for most STDs due to their ability to detect the presence of pathogenic nucleic acids and genes in the patient sample with utmost accuracy and speed. NAATs depends on their ability to replicate the target RNA and DNA to create numerous copies – resulting in an increased convenience in the detection of the desired molecules instead of trying to either blindly look for one strand in a minuscule sample or collecting a large sample that could make the patient uncomfortable throughout the process. Although NAATs are often preferred for a more conclusive diagnosis of STDs, certain exceptions such as the availability of resources and instances of intermittent viral shedding could make NAATs less desirable than other tests. Fret not, however, as your physician is knowledgeable regarding these instances and would often request the best diagnostic procedure for your instances.
It 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.
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.
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.