STD Testing in South Carolina

US health officials have raised the alarm after the Centers for Disease Control released its 2018 STD surveillance report outlining statistics that reveal STD rates are at an all-time high in the country. Since 2014, chlamydia cases have risen by 19%, gonorrhea by 63%, and primary/secondary syphilis cases are up a staggering 71%. South Carolina was declared the 4th highest observer of chlamydia rates in the country and the third-highest for gonorrhea.

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STD testing centers in South Carolina

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can cause severe damage to the reproductive capabilities of females. Sadly, some STDs don't even have any distinct symptoms, making their early detection even more cumbersome for people. Generally, women and men experience abnormal discharge and strange burning sensations when urinating if they have an STD. However, not every individual needs to have similar symptoms.

Untreated STDs are like a ticking timebomb as these can instigate the spread of HIV, cause infertility, pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease, and even cancer. Particularly vulnerable are pregnant women and infants as congenital syphilis can be transferred to the unborn baby, leading to stillbirth or infecting the baby. Primary and secondary syphilis is when the infection is most devastating.

Rising STDs rates have become a grave public health crisis in South Carolina since 2015. Not just pregnant ladies but men who have sex with men are also at high risk of STDs. Congenital syphilis transmission from the infected mothers to the fetus is persisting in almost the entire state.

Getting tested is the only way to identify whether or not you have an STD and prevent the infection from getting transmitted to your partner or unborn baby. Regular STD testing is crucial for sexually active individuals. The CDC recommends annual screening, especially if you have a new partner. Abstinence is, although a suitable way to avoid getting infected with an STD, regular checkups are a more reliable route. According to the STD prevention guidelines released by the CDC, sexually active females above and below the age of 25, those with multiple partners, or a new partner with a positive STD infection screening must mandatorily get screened. Moreover, pregnant women should get tested for STD on their first prenatal visit and then again in the third trimester.

Labcorp

No Appointment Required

2 Southern Ct, West Columbia, South Carolina 29169

12.1 mile

Tel: 8039391455


Tests Offered

  • • Gonorrhea Testing
  • • Syphilis Testing
  • • Hepatitis A Testing
  • • Hepatitis B Testing
  • • Hepatitis C Testing
  • • Herpes Testing
  • • Chlamydia Testing
  • • Rapid HIV Testing
  • • Conventional HIV Testing

See Tests & Prices

Today's best offer is: $10 off any order. Discount will be applied automatically.

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Lexington County Health Department

Lexington Clinic

1070-B South Lake Dr, Ste B, Lexington, South Carolina 29073

9.02 mile

Tel: (803) 785-6550

Tel: (855) 472-3432


Appointment Required: Yes


Tests Offered

  • • TB Testing
  • • Gonorrhea Testing
  • • Syphilis Testing
  • • Chlamydia Testing
  • • Conventional HIV Testing

Care Services Offered

  • • Family Planning
  • • Adult Hepatitis B Vaccine
  • • STD Treatment
  • • TB Treatment

Prevention Services Offered

  • • TB Prevention/Education
  • • STD Prevention/Education
  • • Partner Notification
  • • HIV/AIDS Prevention/Education
  • • HIV Test Counseling
  • • Condom Distribution

Support Services

  • • Case Management
  • • Drug Purchasing Assistance, including AIDS Drug Purchasing Assistance (ADAP)

Audiences

  • • Adolescents/Youth/Teens
  • • Adults
  • • General Public
  • • Low Income Persons
  • • Persons Practicing High Risk Behaviors
  • • Persons with HIV/AIDS
  • • Persons with STDs
  • • Persons with TB
  • • Women
  • • HIV Positive Persons
  • • Sex Partners
  • • Pregnant Women
  • • Men
  • • Young Adults

Fees & Payment Information

  • • Fee
  • • Medicaid Accepted
  • • Medicare Accepted
  • • Sliding Scale
  • • Insurance Accepted

Languages

  • • English

Learn More

CVS MinuteClinic

Please visit the website or call for eligibility requirements. STD testing, HIV PrEP and PEP for patients 18+. Trichomoniasis testing available as part of STD testing services.

1071 S Lake Dr, Lexington, South Carolina 29073

9.02 mile

Tel: (866) 389-2727



Tests Offered

  • • Hepatitis C Testing
  • • Hepatitis B Testing
  • • TB Testing
  • • Gonorrhea Testing
  • • Syphilis Testing
  • • Chlamydia Testing

Care Services Offered

  • • Adult Hepatitis B Vaccine
  • • Hepatitis A Vaccine
  • • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • • Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
  • • STD Treatment

Audiences

  • • General Public

Fees & Payment Information

  • • Fee
  • • Medicaid Accepted
  • • Medicare Accepted
  • • Insurance Accepted

Languages

  • • English
  • • Interpretation Services Available for Non-English Languages

Learn More

Regional Health and Testing Center

No referral needed.

5609 Sunset Blvd, Ste F, Lexington, South Carolina 29072

10.68 mile

Tel: (803) 399-1240


Appointment Required: No


Tests Offered

  • • TB Testing
  • • Gonorrhea Testing
  • • Syphilis Testing
  • • Herpes Testing
  • • Chlamydia Testing
  • • Conventional HIV Testing

Care Services Offered

  • • Medication Adherence Education and Counseling
  • • Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)
  • • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • • STD Treatment

Prevention Services Offered

  • • TB Prevention/Education
  • • STD Prevention/Education
  • • HIV/AIDS Prevention/Education
  • • HIV Test Counseling

Audiences

  • • Adolescents/Youth/Teens
  • • At Risk Persons
  • • General Public
  • • Low Income Persons
  • • Persons with HIV/AIDS
  • • Women
  • • HIV Positive Persons
  • • Men
  • • African Americans/Blacks
  • • Asians/Pacific Islanders
  • • Hispanics/Latinos
  • • Men Who Have Sex with Men
  • • LGBT
  • • Gay Men
  • • Native Americans

Fees & Payment Information

  • • Fee

Languages

  • • English

Learn More

CVS MinuteClinic

Please visit the website or call for eligibility requirements. STD testing, HIV PrEP and PEP for patients 18+. Trichomoniasis testing available as part of STD testing services.

5608 Sunset Blvd, Lexington, South Carolina 29072

11.53 mile

Tel: (866) 389-2727



Tests Offered

  • • Hepatitis C Testing
  • • Hepatitis B Testing
  • • TB Testing
  • • Gonorrhea Testing
  • • Syphilis Testing
  • • Chlamydia Testing

Care Services Offered

  • • Adult Hepatitis B Vaccine
  • • Hepatitis A Vaccine
  • • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • • Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
  • • STD Treatment

Audiences

  • • General Public

Fees & Payment Information

  • • Fee
  • • Medicaid Accepted
  • • Medicare Accepted
  • • Insurance Accepted

Languages

  • • English
  • • Interpretation Services Available for Non-English Languages

Learn More

Do I have an STD?

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.

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Which Method of STD Testing is Suitable for Me?

STD testing options in South Carolina

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 South Carolina. Check them out to find out which option is suitable for you.

Private testing (Walk-in clinic)

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.

Doctor's office

Another option is to simply visit your regular clinic and talk to your doctor.

At-home STD testing

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.

Community health centers and community clinics

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.

Are STD tests expensive in South Carolina?

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.

How long does it usually take for results to come back for an STD test in South Carolina?

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.

Test Advisor

Types of STD tests

Know all about STD testing options, and the costs of different STD tests.

South Carolina STD Data

STD data & statistics in South Carolina


South Carolina is home to 5,024,448 residents, and as per a report from Innerbody.com based on the CDC STD surveillance report, there were 48,095 infections reported in 2018 in the state.

Although South Carolina doesn't have the highest overall STD rates in the country, it is still within the high-risk category as it reported the fourth-highest STD rates with 957 cases per 100,000 people, which is a startling number. This represents combined cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV, and chlamydia.

Around 5,780 cases of STDs were reported in South Carolina's largest city and state capital, Columbia. The city has a population of 414,570 residents. This means the overall STD rate in Columbia was nearly 1,390 cases per 100,000 people. Out of all STDs, chlamydia was the most widespread in Columbia as data revealed 4,040 cases were reported in 2018.

In 2015, South Carolina was reportedly at number 7 among the fifty US states in chlamydial infections, with around 569 cases per 100,000 residents. In terms of gonorrheal infections, the state had the fourth-highest number of cases with 169.8 per 100,000. Similarly, the reported chlamydia cases among females were 2.4 times higher than males, with 795 and 328 cases per 100,000, respectively.

It is important to note that in 2011, the state had reported 4.7 cases of primary/secondary syphilis per 100,000, and the rate increased to 6.1 cases per 100,000 people. There were sixteen cases of congenital syphilis reported between 2011 and 2015, while the state ranked 18th in the country in terms of primary/secondary syphilis cases.

CDC STD surveillance data for the year 2016-17 indicates that chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, the three main STDs, are continually inclining in South Carolina. It has now become the third-highest state in terms of the rising number of STDs cases in the country, revealed an analytical report by Health Testing Centers.

According to the CDC, the year 2017 set new records in STDs transmission across South Carolina, with chlamydia cases showing a 14.4% increase, making it the third-highest state in chlamydia infections after New Hampshire and Connecticut. Greenville, Charleston, and Myrtle Beach are other cities in South Carolina where the STD epidemic is causing havoc.

The most disturbing fact is that congenital syphilis cases are rising steadily in the state, which indicates that newborn babies are at an increased risk of contracting the infection. Similarly, the number of stillbirths is also rising due to the increase in congenital syphilis cases. There are reportedly 650 cases of syphilis per 100,000 people, which is way above New Hampshire's 330 and Connecticut's 496 cases. In 2017, the state ended up being the fifth most risky state for gonorrheal infections with 254 cases per 100,000, while the national average that year was 172.

Testing for HIV is Vital

Human Immunodeficiency Virus, commonly known as HIV, is one of the deadliest viruses ever known. The virus can stay silent for years, weaken the immunity of the affected individual, and show no apparent symptoms. HIV progresses to become AIDS during the last stage, where the human body has almost no immunity left, and viruses like the common flu can cause mortality.

Testing for HIV can save the patient from long-term complications and control the spread of the virus. HIV can be spread through sexual contact, body fluids, using infected needles, etc. Therefore, it is crucial for people living in HIV-populated areas to get tested to save themselves from further illness and prevent their partners and others from contracting the virus.

Early testing and diagnosis results in an early onset of treatment and can potentially enable a person to live everyday life. Many studies have indicated that HIV-related mortalities are three times higher in case of later diagnosis. A late diagnosis is generally referred to as the last stage of the virus when HIV has already progressed to AIDS.

Considering the CDC guidelines, it is recommended for every individual to get tested for HIV at least once in their lifetime. However, in localities where the HIV active cases are present in higher numbers, annual testing for the virus is recommended.

As per health officials, around 16 percent of people living with HIV in South Carolina are not aware of their HIV-positive status. The numbers of HIV cases from 2015 to 2018 have also increased significantly, making testing highly important for all state residents.

HIV Statistics in South Carolina

White Americans are present in the majority in the state, making up 68.8 % of the entire population, followed by Black Americans (27%). Hispanic and Latin (6%) and Asians (1.8%) are also a part of the population.

There was a slight increase in the number of newly diagnosed cases during the last few years. In 2015 as per the CDC reports, the total numbers of newly diagnosed cases in the state were 694. During the year 2018, 17,405 people lived with HIV in South Carolina, of which 715 people were newly diagnosed with the virus.

Age, Ethnicity, and Demographic Profile

The teen birth rate in South Carolina has declined by 70%, which is a significant decrement. The state noticed a peak in teen pregnancy rates during the early 1990s, and since then, there has been a 70% decrease. But, young adults are still at substantial risk for getting an STD.

In 2018, South Carolina ranked the fourth highest in the US for chlamydial infections and the third-highest for gonorrheal infections among all age groups. Adolescents, which includes youth aged between 15 and 24, accounted for a staggering 67% of all chlamydia infections in South Carolina and 53% of all gonorrhea cases reported in the state. This is why the state government and health department must ensure teens and adults have access to comprehensive STD testing and treatment facilities. In 2018, there were 1,306 congenital syphilis cases, which is 185% higher than the rates reported by CDC in 2014.

The 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance survey revealed that 51% of sexually active high schoolers in South Carolina reported not using a condom. This highlights the significance of providing comprehensive sexual education, including guidelines on the appropriate use of contraception and condoms among sexually active teenagers.

According to the South Carolina department of health and environmental control (SCDHEC), African-Americans reported the highest number of chlamydia cases, with 45% in 2017, whites with 18%, and 2% for Hispanics. The 20 to 24 age group was found to be the most at-risk in terms of chlamydia infections in South Carolina. A similar trend was noted in gonorrheal infections as the highest number of cases was reported among African-Americans with 53%, followed by whites with 16%, and Hispanics had 1% cases. The rate of syphilis cases was again the highest among blacks with 62%, whites were the second most affected race with 30%, while Hispanics ranked third with 5% cases in 2017.

HIV-Specific Data

According to the AIDSvu’s HIV statistics report, in 2018, 17,405 people lived with HIV in South Carolina, of which 715 people were diagnosed during the same year. The rate of people living with HIV per 100,000 population in the year 2018 was 406. According to HIV/AIDS report 2018, 71 % of males and 29 % females were affected by the virus.

Black Americans make up 27% of the entire population, but they remain the biggest ethnic groups affected by HIV. 67.8% of the Black Americans, 23.5% of the White Americans, and 5.5 % of the Hispanic population made up the entire HIV positive population.

As per the same report, HIV was contracted more by individuals belonging to the age group 55 years and above. 27.7% of people living with HIV were 45 to 54 years, while 17.9% belonged to 25 to 34 years. Adolescents and young adults, 13 to 24 years of age, made 20.7% of the HIV-positive population.

The report also indicates that male patients' primary mode of transmission is gay or male-to-male sexual contact. 7.6% of the total reported cases were due to injection or drug use, while 14.9% of the male patients contracted the virus due to heterosexual contact. In females mode of transmission was mainly due to heterosexual contact (83%) and drug & injection use (14.5%).

HIV-related mortalities in the state of South Carolina during the year 2018 were 206. Of the total mortalities, 66% were males, while 34% were females. Similarly, as Black Americans were disproportionately affected by the virus, the number of mortalities of Black Americans was 65.5%, while White Americans made up 24.3% of the total number of mortalities.

Government Initiatives

The uptick in STD cases in South Carolina is mainly due to the sudden decrease in state funding for sexual health organizations and clinics. The Department of Health and Environmental Control, which is responsible for providing publicly-funded clinics across the state, offers STD screening/treatment facilities. However, the agency is suffering because of the tapered federal funding in the past few years. a DHEC spokesperson stated that this drop in federal funding is concerning. It further intensifies other issues like increasing disease burden, increasing population, increasing cost of living, and increasing disease control staff salaries. Therefore, these resources must receive sufficient funding. If access to these resources is restricted, the state won't provide access to comprehensive testing and treatment, and the risk of rising STDs cases will not be reduced.

DHEC participated in CDC's National STD Awareness Week, and its press release stated that it is a crucial step in the right direction.

"STDs are preventable, and an important step in prevention is getting tested. With the number of certain types of STDs rising annually in South Carolina and across the nation, we can't do enough to educate each other about the importance of STD safety, including prevention and treatment, which is what National STD Awareness Week is all about," said Ali Mansaray, the director of DHEC's STD, HIV, and Viral Hepatitis Division.

Initiatives to Prevent HIV in South Carolina

South Carolina. Department of Health and Environmental Control, SCDHEC, has several programs designed specifically for low-income people living with HIV. These programs ensure the provision of essential medications and support services for the patients and their families.

SCDHEC has formulated a 34 voting member body called the HIV Planning Council. It is mandatory for the council to have at least seven members to be persons with positive HIV status. The primary mission of the planning council is to develop state-wide prevention as well as care plans.

South Carolina AIDS Drug Assistance Program ADAP is yet another state initiative to facilitate the HIV-positive patients belonging to low-income groups who cannot afford the medication and treatment costs. The program is further split into three parts known as the Direct Drug Dispensing program, Insurance Assistance Program, and Medicare Assistance Program. The kind of service received depends on the type of program the patient is enrolled in.

Health Resources and Service Administration, HRSA's program known as Ryan White HIV/AIDS program has been successfully operational in almost all country states for the last thirty years. Ryan White HIV/AIDS program is a federal government-funded project that provides funds to state bodies to provide medication, treatment, and other critical services to people living with HIV. State-based organizations use these funds to ensure outpatient, medication, early intervention, and health insurance services to those in need. This program also funds initiatives like food banks, transportation to and from the health cue centers, financial assistance programs, and various mental health services for HIV patients.

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  • Barclay, T. and Rodriguez, E., 2020. These States Have the Highest and Lowest STD Rates (updated 2020). [online] Innerbody. Available at: https://www.innerbody.com/std-testing/std-statistics-by-state
  • Cdc.gov. 2015. STD Screening Recommendations - 2015 STD Treatment Guidelines. [online] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/screening-recommendations.htm
  • Cdc.gov. 2016. South Carolina – State Health Profile. [online] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/stateprofiles/pdf/south_carolina_profile.pd
  • Factforward.org. 2020. 2019 South Carolina Teen STI/STD Rates. [online] Available at: https://www.factforward.org/sites/default/files/2019%20Teen%20STI-STD%20Rates.pdf
  • Healthtestingcenters.com. 2018. STDs in America | Health Testing Centers. [online] Available at: https://www.healthtestingcenters.com/research-guides/stds-america/
  • Rodgers, K., 2019. 2018 STD Surveillance Report: STIs Rates Rapidly Increased Again - NACCHO. [online] Naccho.org. Available at: https://www.naccho.org/blog/articles/2018-std-surveillance-report-stis-rates-rapidly-increased-again
  • Scdhec.gov. 2018. South Carolina’s STD/HIV/AIDS Data-Surveillance Report December 31, 2017. [online] Available at: https://scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/media/document/STD-HIV-AIDS-Surveillance_Report_2017.pdf
  • WYFF4.com. 2021. No-cost STD testing available April 15 in South Carolina. [online] Available at: https://www.wyff4.com/article/no-cost-std-testing-available-april-15-in-south-carolina/36098633

STD testing FAQs

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.

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.

It is recommended to get tested for STDs if you have had unprotected sexual contact, multiple sexual partners, or if you are experiencing symptoms associated with STDs. Additionally, regular testing is recommended as part of routine sexual health care, even in the absence of symptoms, especially for individuals who are sexually active.

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.

How Does it Work?

See how simple and easy it is to get tested for STDs in South Carolina today

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.

1

Order your STD test

Visit your nearest lab or clinic, order your home testing kit online, and follow the given instructions from an STD testing provider.

2

Undergo the test

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.

3

Receive you results

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.

Concerned about an STD?

Help stop the spread of STDs by knowing your status. Get tested today!