Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, are on the rise in Oklahoma, particularly in the state's southwest region. The state ranked 16th in chlamydia rates and 6th in gonorrhea incidences as per the most recent reports. Comanche Country is the most impacted region in gonorrhea and chlamydia cases.
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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 Oklahoma. Check them out to find out which option is suitable for you.
|Testing Method||Waiting Times||Speed of Results||Positive Consultation|
Private Testing (Walk-In Clinic)
10-20 Minutes with No Wait
Free With Positive Result
At-Home STD Testing
Free With Positive Result
Call for Appointment
Call for Appointment
Out-of-Pocket Cost Required
Limited Hours and Long Lines
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.
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, the three most common infectious diseases transmitted through unprotected sex, having sexual relations with multiple partners, sharing needles/syringes, and skin-to-skin contact, are curable with antibiotics. However, still, a vast majority of cases go undiagnosed, and infected individuals remain untreated.
The primary reason behind low diagnosis and treatment rates and a rising number of STDs cases is a lack of awareness about STDs testing. If a person remains infected for long and appropriate treatment is not undertaken, they get exposed to chronic health conditions such as increased HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), infertility, stillbirth, miscarriages, certain types of cancer, ectopic pregnancy, and congenital syphilis in newborns.
Since the common STDs are generally asymptomatic, which means there aren't any visible symptoms until the person gets tested for STDs, most people remain unaware of their condition. The situation is far more concerning than you think because the infection can be easily passed on to their partners, which can increase the number of at-risk people. This is called an accidental infection, and it is one of the leading causes behind the growing STDs rates in Oklahoma.
That's why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all sexually active individuals must get tested for STDs annually. Sexually active females aged 25 or below need annual screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea, while pregnant women should get screened for syphilis. Teenagers must consent to STD testing.
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Oklahoma ranked 10th in chlamydia infections in 2015 with over 542 cases per 100,000 people, whereas regarding gonorrhea, the state ranked 5th with 168.7 cases per 100,000 population. Teen birth rates and numbers are declining in Oklahoma. As per the statistics from the past five years, the state still lags behind other US states and has been recording one of the highest teen birth rates in the country. In fact, adolescents and teens report the highest number of STD diagnoses in Oklahoma. Furthermore, chlamydia rates were 2.4 times higher among women with over 761 cases/100,000 people than men, who recorded over 318 cases/100,000 people.
In 2017, the state reported an even higher rate of chlamydia and gonorrhea infections. There was around a 7% increase in the number of reported chlamydia and gonorrhea cases compared to 2016, with a total of 31,779 cases and 29,716 cases, respectively. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) officials regarded this as an alarming increment in the number of STDs cases.
According to the OSDH, the most significant increase was reported in syphilis cases, as the department reported a 36.5% increase between 2016 and 2017. On the other hand, Oklahoma has observed around a 20% increase in gonorrhea cases.
As per CDC's STD surveillance report 2019, Oklahoma reported 10,491 gonorrhea cases at a rate of 266.1 cases/100,000 people. Conversely, chlamydia cases rose to 23,518, with 596.4 cases diagnosed per 100,000 people in 2019 compared to 2017 statistics. Regarding primary and secondary syphilis, Oklahoma reported 791 cases with a rate of 20.1/100,000 people. A concerning fact identified by the CDC was the increasing number of congenital syphilis cases, as Oklahoma reported a whopping 43 cases in 2019. Chlamydia is the most prevalent STD in Oklahoma, followed by gonorrhea and syphilis.
Reportedly, rural areas represented a slightly lower rate of chlamydia infections in Oklahoma with 30.3% of all diagnoses compared to the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) that reported around 38.5% of all cases. In 2018, around 21,974 chlamydia cases were reported in Oklahoma, out of which over 69% were diagnosed among females with 15,282 cases, whereas nearly 31% of all cases were detected in males with 6,692 cases.
The 20-24 years age group recorded the highest number of infections, with around 8,005 chlamydial infections or over 36% of all reported cases in the state. It must be noted that whites had the largest share of chlamydia cases, with 39.9%. However, whites aren't disproportionately impacted by chlamydia as per race or ethnicity.
A similar scenario is noticed regarding gonorrhea as MSA still has the lead in the number of cases, with close to 40% of all cases compared to rural areas. In contrast, Tulsa MSA reported 28% of all gonorrhea cases. In 2018, around 8,998 gonorrhea cases were reported, out of which over 50% were females with 4,556 cases compared to males who reported 49.4% of cases with 4,442 cases. The 20-24 years age group was the most impacted among all, with 2,461 cases overall and a rate of 27.4%. Moreover, whites reported 38% of all gonorrhea cases.
In 2018, around 531 primary/secondary syphilis cases were recorded in Oklahoma, and over 72% were among males with 387 cases, and 27.1% were diagnosed among females with 144 cases. Heterosexual contact was the most significant risk factor as it accounted for over 54% of primary/secondary syphilis cases reported in 2018. Regarding syphilis, the 30-34 years age group was the most impacted one with 108 cases, and whites had the highest number of cases with over 52% of all cases (279 cases). In 2018, around 342 non-primary/non-secondary syphilis cases were reported, out of which over 68% were among males and 31.8% among females. The 25-29 years age group was the most impacted with 59 cases (25%), and heterosexual contact was again the most significant risk factor with 52.9% of all cases.
HOPE Inc. is the organization responsible for conducting free and low-cost STD testing through statewide Equality Centers. Patients who test positive for STDs receive treatment doses for themselves and up to three sexual partners. Reportedly, 99% of patients who received the treatment didn't report re-infection within 90 days initial treatment period as per the OSHD.
The Ending HIV Oklahoma (OHHPC) is another important initiative in the state. It is basically an advisory body assisting the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Sexual Health, and Harm Reduction Service to promote coordinated STD/HIV Prevention and Care strategies. The state health department then submits the plan to the concerned authorities for implementation. Hence, the OHHPC plays a crucial role in carrying out the mission of reducing sexually transmitted diseases in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department offers a variety of prevention and treatment programs to reduce STDs in the state. From birth control and STD/HIV testing to the distribution of free condoms, the department offers a wide range of services. STI Clinics are also available throughout the state to increase access to STD/STI testing and treatment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.