Maine is not counted among the high-risk states regarding the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STDs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and primary/secondary syphilis. Maine has relatively low rates of the three common STDs and is generally listed in the bottom ten states. However, this trend may change sooner or later because, much like the rest of the country, STD rates are increasing in Maine drastically.
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Why Testing Matters?
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention urges Mainers to get screened for STIs after recording a dramatic increase in Gonorrhea and Syphilis cases. At the same time, Chlamydia remains the most widespread STI in the state. It is important to note that STDs pose a significant threat to public health, particularly among young adults and adolescents, as they account for over half of all new STDs cases nationwide.
With early diagnosis, most STIs are easy to treat. However, if left untreated, there is a high risk of the infection getting transmitted to other individuals and can cause lasting health consequences, including male/female infertility, HIV 3 risk, and pregnancy-related complications.
STDs typically spread from one individual to another via sexual contact. It is a general observation that oftentimes infected individuals get mild to no symptoms because most STDs are asymptomatic. That’s why it is such a great challenge to control the spread of the infection, and the rates are increasing steadily. Most individuals are unaware of their sexual health status as they seldom get tested for STDs and spread the virus to their partner(s).
Find a Lab
105 Topsham Fair Mall Rd, Unit 5, Topsham, Maine 04086
Today's best offer is: $10 off any order. Discount will be applied automatically.
60 Forest Falls Drive, Yarmouth, Maine 04096
Today's best offer is: $10 off any order. Discount will be applied automatically.
Please call before you go for testing services. Testing services open to the general public.
5 Long Ln, Ste 1, Ellsworth, Maine 04605
Tel: (207) 667-3506
Appointment Required: No
7 VIP Rd, Marshfield, Maine 04654
Tel: (207) 255-5849
Appointment Required: Yes
Open to all for testing and the needle exchange. Referral to medical treatment, prevention, and support services. Free condoms available.
21 Enterprise Dr, Augusta, Maine 04330
Tel: (207) 248-0460
Appointment Required: No
Need to register as a patient.
53 Schoodic Dr, Belfast, Maine 04915
Tel: (207) 338-6900
Appointment Required: Yes
Need to register as a patient to receive services.
110 Broadway, Bucksport, Maine 04416
Tel: (207) 469-7371
Appointment Required: Yes
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.Start Symptom Checker
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 Maine. 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.
Know all about STD testing options, and the costs of different STD tests.
Maine STD Data
Overall, the reported cases of the three common STDs are lower in Maine than the national averages. Still, the growth rates are outpacing them rapidly. Reportedly, in Maine, gonorrhea cases rose nearly 200% between 2014 and 2018, while syphilis cases have risen by 600% in the same time frame. Chlamydia is the most common STD in the state, and syphilis has the greatest increment rate statewide.
Maine recorded a sharp increase in reported cases of all three STDs between 2007 and 2017, with chlamydia increasing from 192 to 342, gonorrhea from 8.9 to 46.6, and syphilis rising from 0.7 to 4.9 per 100,000 people. In 2015, the state recorded 3,993 chlamydia cases, substantially higher than 2010's 2,586 cases. Gonorrhea, meanwhile, rose to 550 cases per 100,000 people in 2016 from 422 in 2015.
As per the recent statistics by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 80 cases of syphilis were reported in 2017, up from 48 cases reported in 2016 and an average of at least 20 cases increasing annually in the past five years. In 2017, Maine had the 4th lowest rate of chlamydia cases in all 50 states after population adjustment with 342 cases/100,000 people.
The state, reportedly, boasts the 3rd-lowest gonorrhea rate in the USA and is one of nine states where gonorrhea rates are below 100 per 100,000 people. But after recording a considerable decline in gonorrhea cases by 2015, Maine’s number of cases climbed every year until 2020.
Between 2014 and 2017, Maine observed over a 160% increase in the number of gonorrhea cases. Moreover, the state’s primary/secondary syphilis rate is much lower as it ranked 36 in the overall 50 states back in 2017 with 4.9 cases/100,000 people. Syphilis prevalence in Maine has increased gradually and is up by 270% since 2012.
According to CDC during the year 2015, an estimated number of 39,393 people were newly diagnosed with the disease throughout the country. Considering the statistics of Maine, 45 adults and adolescents were newly diagnosed with HIV in Maine, making the state rank at 42nd of the 50 U.S. States.
There has been a downward trend in the number of newly diagnosed cases statewide. A report from AIDSVu indicates that during 2018 only 30 people were newly diagnosed with HIV, while the total number of people living with HIV in the state was 1,608.
Numbers from the State of Maine HIV/AIDS epidemiological profile, 2015, suggest that approximately one-third of all the HIV-positive residents of Maine lived in Cumberland public health district during their diagnosis. Of the newly diagnosed causes, 58% of individuals belonged to Cumberland.
The same report shows that around 3 percent of the population of this state were reported to be engaged in some HIV risk behaviors such as intravenous drug use, having unprotected sexual contact in 12 months before the survey.
According to the 2005 statistics published by the Maine Department of Health, people aged 24 or below were disproportionally impacted by chlamydia across the state and accounted for 3-quarters of all cases that year. The trend has continued ever since, as even today, the 15-24 age group is among the high-risk population regarding chlamydial infection rate.
In Maine, females report more diagnoses in chlamydia compared to males. In 2005 females comprised 73% of all chlamydia cases. But this doesn’t mean females got infected more than males. Their number is higher because the STDs screening rate was much higher in female Mainers than males. The rate of STD infection in 15-19-year-old Mainers has been on the rise since 2005, but still, rates are low compared to overall national rates as it is still half of the US rates.
On the other hand, the gonorrhea infection rate is higher in older Mainers, and the most impacted age group is 20-29, while it is a general trend that males had more than half of the overall gonorrhea diagnoses. This higher proportion of male diagnoses could be attributed to MSM (males who have sex with males) as they account for over one-quarter of all reported cases of gonorrhea.
Southern Maine counties bear the biggest burden of STDs in terms of numbers, according to the state’s STD program. In 2008, males accounted for 756 or 29% of all chlamydia cases and 53 or 55% of all gonorrhea cases, whereas females accounted for 1,838 or 71% and 43 or 45%, respectively. As far as ethnicities are concerned, Whites recorded a higher number of diagnoses with 2,005 chlamydia cases (77%) and 73 gonorrhea cases back in 2008 (76%). African-Americans were the second most affected ethnic group with 121 or 5% of all chlamydia cases and 17 or 18% of all gonorrhea cases reported in 2008.
Comparing the data from 2015 and 2018, the number of newly diagnosed cases of HIV has somehow reduced. According to a report by AIDSVu, the total number of people living with HIV in Maine in 2018 was 1608. While the rate of people living with HIV, per a population of 100,000, was 138. Around 79.3% of the people living with HIV, reportedly, were males, while 20.7% of the HIV-positive population were females. Considering the ethnicity, White Americans made up 72.8 percent of people living with HIV, followed by 16.4% black or African Americans, and 7.1 of the individuals belonged to Hispanic or Latin backgrounds.
In Maine, 45.3% of the individuals living with HIV were 55 years or above, 29.2% were aged 44 to 55 years, and 16.3% belonged to 35 to 44. 7.5% of the total HIV-positive population was young adults aged 25 to 34 years, while 1.7% was 13 to 24 years of age.
According to AIDSVu, the total number of AIDS-related mortalities during the year 2018 was 21. The rate of HIV-related death per 100,000 population was 2. 90.5 % of the mortalities were HIV-positive men, while 9.5% of the female mortalities were reported.
Furthermore, it is observed that in males, the mode of transmission of HIV mainly was male to male or gay sexual contact (76.9%), 7.1% of the male transmission cases were reported due to heterosexual contact, while 8.7% were due to contaminated injection use. In females, 71.8% of the transmission was due to heterosexual contact, and 24.6 % contaminated injection use.
There’s a considerably alarming rise in reported STDs in Maine and a dire need to intensify screening and prevention efforts. However, the changes implemented in federal Title X funding might make it difficult for Mainers to receive adequate STD testing services. Hence, Maine is well aware that it has to continue funding for these services and reinforce outreach efforts to vulnerable people.
Maine’s CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) not only offers funding to educate Mainers regarding the risks associated with STDs transmission but also contacts sex partners of those who have tested positive for reportable STDs. The goal is to ensure that a maximum number of partners of at-risk individuals are tested and treated.
The Maine Health Equity Alliance is responsible for testing for diseases transmitted via blood through shared needles for injecting drugs. Although the department doesn’t test for syphilis, it may include it in the list soon.
The Maine HIV, STDs, and Viral Hepatitis Program aim to curb the spread of STDs, viral hepatitis, and HIV, reduce fatality rates due to these infectious diseases, and promote well-being in a high-risk population.
The Maine STD Program is launched with funding from the federal government. This program oversees activities affecting the reportable STDs and works closely with other federally funded HIV Programs to assist with particular follow-up activities regarding HIV.
Furthermore, it is responsible for performing disease surveillance for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, and following up with disease intervention specialists regarding treatment verification, and providing anonymous partner services for all diseases.
Infertility Prevention Project is yet another significant initiative launched by Maine targeting 15-24 years old females. It also offers to fund for chlamydia and gonorrhea screening/treatment to women 15-24 if necessary and also for aged 25 and above if they qualify.
Maine Family Planning Prevention Program is designed to promote youth sexual and reproductive health by strengthening sex education in the community and school. Its responsibilities include offering technical assistance, professional development opportunities, and innovative resources to leaders working with K-12 students to improve reproductive/sexual health outcomes.
There are some federal initiatives to eradicate HIV and improve the living conditions of people living with HIV in almost all U.S. states. Ryan White Part B is one such initiative that provides funding to the local organizations that work towards the provision of HIV care, prevention plans, and spreading awareness. The government of Maine has also come up with a few promising initiatives to support the cause.
Frannie Peabody Center provides a range of services to cater to HIV patients at various stages. The organization provides case management services for the patients that include providing the necessary linkage of medical insurance to uninsured or underinsured individuals.
Frannie Peabody Center also provides counseling and mental health services to HIV patients, and in collaboration with federal organizations, housing for people living with HIV/AIDS is also provided. This organization also gives free testing services for HIV, syphilis, Hepatitis C, and other forms of STDs. Frannie Peabody Center also carries out spreading awareness to the general public and distribution of free condoms.
Health Equity Alliance is a nonprofit organization that provides direct services and advocacy with and on behalf of residents of Maine living with HIV. the most affected communities are LGBTQ+ and people of color. The primary mission of this organization is to reduce the health disparities such as HIV, Hepatitis C, and AIDS-related mortalities. Health Equality Alliance, Maine, provides health insurance services, case management services, treatment options, and free screening for HIV and syringe exchange services.
Maine Family Planning
services provides free testing for HIV at as many as 18 locations throughout the state. Together with the testing services, this organization also conducts consultative sessions with the people at risk of HIV and makes pre-exposure prophylaxis, PrEP accessible to all the state residents.
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.
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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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Help stop the spread of STDs by knowing your status. Get tested today!