In Rhode Island (RI), as per the latest data available from the state health department, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are on the rise. As per the new data, the number of cases in all three common STDs, namely chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, is currently highest compared to the last ten years. In RI, there has been a 391% increase in primary/secondary syphilis cases and a 359% rise in the number of gonorrhea cases compared to 2010.
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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 Rhode Island. 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.
It is imperative to be mindful of your sexual health and get yourself tested at least once a year for all common and reportable STDs/STIs (sexually transmitted infections).
Syphilis is a bacterial infection that is spread from one person to another via sexual contact. Although it is a treatable infection, the risk of re-infection is always there if your partner remains untreated. Untreated syphilis infection can cause severe, lasting health issues such as neurological and cardiac diseases.
In pregnant females, untreated syphilis is a leading cause of infant deaths and stillbirths. Or else, it can cause developmental delays and seizures among babies. If diagnosed at the right time, syphilis can be cured with antibiotics.
On the other hand, gonorrhea is also an infection caused by bacteria that spreads via sexual contact. Though it is a treatable STD, strains of gonorrhea have become resistant to standard medications. If not untreated timely, it can cause devastating reproductive health issues, particularly for females. Pregnant ladies can transmit it to their newborn babies, leading to health issues for the baby.
Chlamydia is also caused by bacteria that spread through sexual contact, and it can re-emerge even after a person gets treated if their partner isn't treated. Untreated chlamydia can cause life-threatening health outcomes like pelvic inflammatory diseases and causes male/female infertility. In females, it is one of the main risk factors behind ectopic pregnancy. While chlamydia is treatable people generally remain unaware of their condition and this causes the infection to convert into a disease. The only way you can determine your sexual health status is by testing/screening for common STDs. If diagnosed early, all STDs can be treated and their transmission can be prevented.
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The most significant initiative undertaken by the RI state government is the Sexually Transmitted Disease Program (STDP). Its mission is to control the transmission of STDs from person to person. The team behind STDP is responsible for monitoring the ongoing trends in reportable infectious diseases. This is done by identifying new diagnoses, determine the high-risk population group, and provide access to testing/screening and treatment options to the underprivileged segments of society.
It also manages cases by locating individuals exposed to STDs and referring them and their partners to screening facilities. Furthermore, STDP is responsible for controlling disease outbreaks by developing public health responses to STDs outbreaks.
In Rhode Island, syphilis and gonorrhea rates have skyrocketed over the last ten years, as per the 2018 STD Surveillance Report from the RI State Department of Health. As per the report, both diseases are up by a staggering 400% since 2009. However, the government believes that this spike could be attributed to improvement in testing services, and since the Affordable Care Act, more people have access to health care. So, the state's uninsured rate has been cut by at least one-third as from 4% it rose to 12% by 2018.
In 2018-19, the biggest rise was noted in infectious syphilis cases, with a 391% increase. In 2018 nearly 167 cases of infectious syphilis were reported statewide compared to 34 in 2009, while gonorrhea cases increased from 359 in 2009 to 1,336 in 2018, marking a 359% increase since 2010.
In RI, there were over 5,480 cases reported in 2018 compared to 3,615 in 2009, revealing a 52% increase overall in the number of cases. Moreover, the number of cases increased slightly from 2017 as over 5,280 cases were reported that year.
In 2016, around 4,936 chlamydia cases were diagnosed in RI, marking a whopping 55% increase compared to 2007 rates, while the same year gonorrhea was diagnosed in 716 individuals, which is way up from the 402 diagnoses made in 2007. In contrast, syphilis infection was detected in 153 individuals, while in 2007, only 46 cases were reported.
In 2019, RI observed a 33% increase in syphilis cases and a 23% increase in gonorrhea cases. According to the state Department of Health, this spike is caused by numerous factors such as decreased condom usage, online dating websites' popularity, risky sexual habits, etc. Reportedly, 25% of all new diagnoses were made in sexually active adolescent females.
As per the statistics in Rhode Island HIV, STDs, Viral Hepatitis, and Tuberculosis Surveillance Report 2019, there has been a dramatic 244% increase in syphilis cases since 2010. From 61 cases, it increased to 210 in 2019. Gay, bisexual, and males who have sex with males (GBMSM) are disproportionally impacted by infectious syphilis in RI, and the health disparity has increased tremendously since 2010.
In 2019, there were nearly seven times more syphilis diagnoses made in the GBMSM community than heterosexual males/females. Between 2015 and 2019, the 20-30 age group reportedly recorded the highest rate of syphilis infection in RI. But, in the past five years, there haven't been any cases of congenital syphilis at all.
Furthermore, 47% of cases were diagnosed among people aged 30-39, and 32% of all cases were reported among people aged 20-29. African-American residents were at three times more risk of contracting syphilis than whites.
In RI, gonorrhea rates have increased by 421% since 2010, which could be partially due to an increment in extragenital testing (rectum and throat testing) across the state. It is identified that gonorrhea infection rate is higher in males than in females, maybe because there is an alarming increase in infection rates in the GBMSM population and that males experience more severe and easily detectable symptoms. In contrast, most females remain unaware of their health status until tested during their prenatal visits.
Between 2010 and 2019, gonorrhea cases were consistently higher in the 20-29 age group, and the 30-39 age group was the second most impacted population segment. African-American males were seven times more likely to be diagnosed with gonorrheal infection than whites.
Similarly, between 2010 and 2019, there has been a 64% increase in chlamydia cases. Most of these cases have been diagnosed in females than males, probably due to a lack of chlamydia symptoms among males. People aged between 20 and 29 were the most at-risk population in RI, and females are twice as likely to be diagnosed than males. From 2015-2019, the greatest number of chlamydia cases were reported in 20-year-olds, followed by 19-year-olds and younger. The fourth highest group was people in their early 30s.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.