In the USA, New Mexico ranks fourth in the number of chlamydia cases per 100,000 people (651.6), while the national average is 528. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) most recent statistics regarding the rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, indicate that STDs have been on the rise in the Southwestern state of New Mexico.
Board ApprovedMedically reviewed by one or more members of the editorial board
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 New Mexico. 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.
New Mexico STD Data
In the past five years, New Mexico has seen an alarmingly high number of STDs cases. Between 2015 and 2016, there was a 61% increase in the number of syphilis cases, gonorrheal infection rate climbed 40%, which is the country's 14th highest rate, and chlamydia cases rose 4%, as per the NMDOH. In 2016, the state was at number 11 in the country with over 470 primary and secondary syphilis cases.
From 2016 to 2017, there was a 3.5% increase in the cases of chlamydia, which was the 4th highest rate for chlamydia infection in the country. During the same period, New Mexico observed a 28% increase in gonorrheal infection rates, which is less than the rates in 2015-16. But, the state ranked 10th in the country for most gonorrhea cases. Primary and secondary syphilis cases increased by 2.2% during 2016-2017. Around 60% of all reported chlamydia cases and 38% of all gonorrhea cases were among 15-24-year-old people.
Several factors are responsible for this steady rise in the number of new STD cases per year. Apart from cutbacks in funding for prevention programs to lackluster sexual health education efforts, and constantly rising usage of dating apps are some of the key contributing factors.
In New Mexico, ethnic and racial minorities are disproportionately impacted by HIV. The overall burden of the disease has leveled in Hispanics. However, it has risen dramatically among American Indians. The disease rate is higher among African Americans despite composing a small fraction of the state’s populace. In 2014, around a fifth of all new diagnoses were in the Northwest Region. But the burden of prevalent cases is reported in the Albuquerque metropolitan area.
New Mexico has continually faced unique challenges when it comes to HIV prevention. The state reportedly had the second-highest rate of inadequate parental care, medically uninsured, and poverty-struck children in the country back in 2004-2005. Given the state’s large size and rural nature, most residents must travel long distances to access care. Due to this, access to certain services and treatment choices for the state’s residents has decreased significantly.
According to the year 2018 data from AIDSvu, there were 87.8% males and 12.2% of females living with HIV in New Mexico. Hispanics/Latinx comprised the largest group of PLWH in the state with 48%, followed by whites with 34.3%, and blacks had a relatively low rate of 6%.
In New Mexico, the 45-55 and 55+ age group is the most impacted demographic portion amounting to 27% and 36.3% of all PLWH. The 35-44 age group is the third most affected group of the population with 19% of all reported cases, and people aged 13-24 and 25-34 reported a relatively low rate of HIV infection with 2.8% and 14.6% PLWH in 2018.
The percentage of new HIV diagnoses across the state was highest among males, with 84% in 2018. Approximately 15.6% of all new cases were diagnosed in females. Moreover, Hispanics continued to register a higher rate of new cases across New Mexico, with over 53% of all new diagnoses followed by 18% for whites and 5.7% for African-Americans.
Racial and ethnic diversity has proven to be a huge challenge for New Mexico state health departments in improving HIV prevention services. In fact, it is among the most racially/ethnically diverse states in the country. Most ethnic groups differ in disease burden patterns and respond in a culturally distinct manner to prevention efforts.
The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) has taken various effective initiatives to respond to the rising rate of STDs. There's a dedicated Disease Prevention Team (DPT) in every region. The team's main task is to provide disease management and partner services to ensure timely treatment. New midlevel providers were recruited at all high-traffic Public Health Offices (PHO) to expand the state's healthcare infrastructure's diagnosis and treatment capacity for various stages of syphilis,
The New Mexico Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Prevention Program's main goal is to encourage a reduction in STDs and HIV incidences. Under this program, technical assistance and consultation are provided across the state. It also facilitates partner services, surveillance, screening, case management, health care provider education, and partner notification for the state's reportable STDs.
The Clinical Preventive Initiative (CPI) focuses on decreasing the burden of illness, increasing the chances of preventability of the condition, examining the quality and costs of services, and programmatic support.
The New Mexico State health department receives funding from the CDC to develop and implement scalable and cost-effective programs and policies to intensify HIV prevention efforts across the state.
Funding supports service delivery to the state’s most affected regions and communities. It also promotes evidence-based monitoring of the disease and routine program evaluation. CDC also provides funding to the New Mexico State education department for assessing health-risk behaviors among adolescents and devise HIV prevention activities. The state health department is also responsible for expanding access to youth-friendly and effective health services and education programs for delaying sexual initiation and reduce the rate of HIV infection.
Furthermore, the state has developed numerous innovative strategies and programs within the last three decades for effectively responding to HIV, reduce new infections rate, and provide quality care. Preventing HIV-related health disparities is another important goal that the state is working to achieve. New Mexico offers targeted confidential testing services across the state to identify PLWH unaware of their status.
The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) HIV Prevention Program, in collaboration with partner organizations, provided over 10,000 confidential HIV tests, including pre and post-test risk-reduction counseling between 2014 and 2015. To ensure access to these services to most at-risk individuals in the urban, frontier, and rural areas, HIV testing service is offered at around 80 partner test sites. NMDOH continues to encourage and expand the use of rapid point-of-care devices. This initiative was implemented in 2008, and by 2015, around 35% of all tests were performed via rapid devices.
The New Mexico AIDS Education and Training Center is the regional partner of the South-Central AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC). The department has partnered with Project ECHO for the creation of the New Mexico AETC-HIV TeleECHO program. It is designed to support providers unfamiliar with HIV so that they become proficient in HIV prevention and treatment in a primary care setting.
In 2017, almost 90% of all reported primary/secondary syphilis cases were among males, and among male syphilis patients, 85% were MSM, while the percentage of males who had sex with females was considerably low. From 2016 to 2017, gonorrhea rates increased for both males and females. The most surprising upward trend was observed among females as the rate for females aged between 20-24 with gonorrhea was around 33.5%, while the number of cases among males increased by 23%.
In New Mexico, there has been a 107.3% rise in the number of STD cases in older adults (aged 55 or above), with 63.5 cases per 100,000 population between 2014 and 2018. As far as the diseases are concerned, there was a 181% increase in chlamydia cases, 207% in syphilis, 146.2% in HIV, and 567.9% in gonorrhea cases.
The biggest leap in STD cases in New Mexico was observed between 2015 and 2016 when almost all age groups reported an unprecedented rise. However, people between ages 25 and 29 and 30-34 had the most cases. For women, the most at-risk age group was between 25 to 29, which was 37% higher than the previous years. For males, the increase was 51%.
In 2016, New Mexico reportedly had 167 gonorrhea cases per 100,000 people. The highest burden of disease was noticed in San Juan, Cibola, Curry, Bernalillo, and Roosevelt counties, whereas the lowest rate was in Doña Ana County with 117 cases/100,000 people. Nationally, there were over 490 chlamydia cases per 100,000 people in 2016. However, in New Mexico, the number was significantly higher for the same size population (629 cases).
Whether it is an STI or STD, both can have a dramatic adverse impact on the health of people of all ages. However, the rising number of cases among older Americans is a cause of great concern. That's because, at this age, people are most vulnerable to serious and deadly illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
In 2005, about 5% of female and 12% of male high school students reportedly have had sexual intercourse before turning 13 compared to the national statistics of 9% male and 4% female high school students. In the same year, 16% of male and 11% of female high schoolers have had four or more sexual partners, while the national rate was 17% males and 12% females. The data indicates that the need to inform the youth about safe sex practices and maintain sexual health is higher. Sexual health education (sex-ed) is the key to achieve this.
There are two kinds of sex-ed options in the USA: abstinence-only programs and comprehensive sex-ed programs. The federal government funds both the programs while state legislatures have to decide what type of sex-ed they intend to provide. Out of 50 US states, 37 require sex-ed to be taught, and 26 of them favor abstinence-only sex-ed. New Mexico does not make it compulsory to offer sex-ed at all. Ironically, New Mexico has one of the country’s highest teen pregnancy rates.
In schools where sex-ed is
offered, abstinence is highlighted as the ideal form of preventing pregnancy,
and unregulated information is provided. States offering comprehensive sex-ed
programs have observed a decline in teen pregnancy rates. However, New Mexico
still does not mandate that schools are required to provide sex-ed. On the
other hand, the state mandates that schools offer AIDS-related instructions and
associated issues described in the Comprehensive Health Education Program. But
the state has imposed a condition that the instructions should stress abstinence.
The expected outcomes of such instructions include the development of refusal
skills, decision-making skills, and the ability to overcome peer pressure.
Select a city below to see more local STD testing options
|San Acacia, NM||Datil, NM|
|Villa Madonna, NM||Valdez, NM|
|Peak Place, NM||Colfax, NM|
|Eldorado at Santa Fe, NM||Ponderosa Pine, NM|
|Deer Lake, NM||Potrero, NM|
|Navajo City, NM||Paquita, NM|
|Shiprock, NM||Amargo, NM|
|Cedarvale, NM||Escabosa, NM|
|Salinas, NM||Gladstone, NM|
|Bodega, NM||Solo, NM|
|Winston, NM||Arriba, NM|
|Kinney, NM||Villa de Cubero, NM|
|El Llano, NM||La Hacienda, NM|
|Hyer, NM||Logan, NM|
|Los Cerrillos, NM||Cedro, NM|
|Canada de los Alamos, NM||Golden, NM|
|Milnesand, NM||Pescado, NM|
|Oscura, NM||Moly, NM|
|En Medio, NM||Zamora, NM|
|Los Marias, NM||Akela, NM|
|Tres Lagunas, NM||Los Pachecos, NM|
|Llano, NM||Borica, NM|
|Marcia, NM||Alma, NM|
|Los Ojitos, NM||Abo, NM|
|Timberon, NM||San Augustin, NM|
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.