STD Testing in Virgin Islands

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) have been on the rise in the US Virgin Islands (VI) since 2005. According to the VI public health department, the rate of common, reportable STDs, namely chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, is higher among young adults, particularly people aged 15-24. STDs are passed from person to person via sexual contact, which is why VI is reporting a higher number of cases across the region.

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STDs are also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs). These are very common diseases that affect millions of Americans every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Reportedly, STDs and STIs can be passed from one individual to another through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. However, these may spread via intimate physical contact such as petting, although this is more uncommon.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the most commonly reported STDs in VI, and both diseases are treatable if diagnosed at the right time. But, if STDs are left untreated, these can lead to serious health problems such as infertility among males and females and congenital disabilities in newborns. Gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory diseases as well. Overall, STDs make it difficult for females to get pregnant or have healthy babies. Furthermore, STIs increases an individual’s chances of contracting or transmitting the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) because STIs make HIV transmission much easier.

An important aspect to note about STDs is that they are generally asymptomatic. This means they may not cause any symptoms initially or just cause mild symptoms. Hence, an individual may be infected but unaware of it. That’s why getting tested for an STD is essential for every sexually active individual. It is twice more critical for those having multiple partners and men who have sex with men. Pregnant females should get tested for an STD in each trimester to receive treatment at the right time in case they are infected.

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Which Method of STD Testing is Suitable for Me?

STD testing options in Virgin Islands

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 Virgin Islands. Check them out to find out which option is suitable for you.

Testing MethodWaiting TimesSpeed of ResultsPositive Consultation

Private Testing (Walk-In Clinic)

10-20 Minutes with No Wait

24-72 Hours

Free With Positive Result

At-Home STD Testing

No Wait

5-11 Days

Free With Positive Result

Doctor Visit

with Insurance

Call for Appointment

7-10 Days

Co-Pay Required

Doctor Visit

without Insurance

Call for Appointment

7-10 Days

Out-of-Pocket Cost Required

Public Clinic

Limited Hours and Long Lines

7-14 Days

No

Learn more in our ultimate guide to STD testing.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Types of STD tests

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Virgin Islands STD Data

STD data & statistics in Virgin Islands


According to the 2015-2019 STD surveillance data released by the CDC, the gonorrhea rate in males touched new highs in 2015, with 24 cases identified. The rate decreased considerably in 2016, with males reporting 21 diagnoses throughout VI. In 2017 there were ten chlamydia cases diagnosed in the state, and in 2019 this number again increased to 23. Chlamydia statistics for VI females is yet unavailable.

Regarding primary and secondary syphilis, which are the most severe infection stages of syphilis, VI reported 8 cases overall in 2015. No cases were diagnosed during 2016 and 2017, while data for subsequent years is unavailable.

Virgin Islands reported around 743 chlamydia cases in 2015, according to the statistics shared by the CDC. The territory recorded a drop in chlamydia diagnoses, with 571 cases identified in 2016, 458 in 2017, and around 537 in 2019.

HIV Rates in Virgin Islands

In the Virgin Islands, a total of 1,061 cases has been reported ever since the first case appeared in 1983. Data published between 2007 to 2014 revealed that 609 people were living with the virus in the Virgin Islands. HIV, when left untreated, progresses to an untreatable and life-threatening phase called AIDS. AIDS is one of the most common causes of death in the Virgin Islands, and since the start of the epidemic, it has claimed the lives of 452 residents of the islands. Approximately thirty per cent of the HIV positive population received primary medical care for HIV from 2008 to 2014.

As per the US Virgin Islands Department of Health data, Virgin Islands has been ranked as one of the regions where HIV is the leading cause of death in the local population. According to the epidemiological reports for Virgin Islands, in the year 2014, the total population of the U.S. Virgin Island was 106,405. The data from CDC records indicate that U.S. Virgin Island comprised only 0.05% of all 2014 new diagnoses in the country. Based on the numbers of HIV and the newly diagnosed cases, this territory was placed as 5th among the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and other territories s for having the highest diagnoses. In 2014 alone, there was a total of 27 newly diagnosed cases of HIV, 17 of which were classified as HIV and ten were classified as stage 3 AIDS.

Due to the latest technology and the advances in medicine, more and more people are now able to live a quality life with HIV infection. By the end of December 2014, approximately 643 people were living with HIV/AIDS in the Virgin Islands. The rate of people living with HIV per 100,000 populations was recorded as 617.3. Of this number, nearly half of the HIV has already progressed to stage 3, called AIDS, which is life-threatening. About 160 individuals, both adults and adolescents, were known to be living with HIV in the Virgin Islands in 2014.

Most of the Virgin Island population tested positive for HIV belonged to particular groups, like out of the school youth, males who were gay or bisexual, drug users, sex workers, and other migrant workers.

Age, Gender and Ethnic Disparities

According to the CDC, in the Virgin Islands, young people report higher rates of STDs than in any other part of the US. As per the 2009 statistics from the CDC, VI’s rate of chlamydia diagnoses among young girls aged 15-24 was 15.5%, which was the highest across the country in 2009, the second-highest rate was found in New Mexico at 14.4%. For males aged 20-24, the rate of chlamydia was higher as the CDC reported an astonishing 21.6% of cases in 2009l.

The rate of gonorrhea among young females was the fifth-highest in the USA in 2009 at 2%, and the region reported the second-highest number of HIV cases in the USA (per capita) that year.

According to VI STD/HIV surveillance report, during 2005 and 2010, males reported fewer gonorrhea cases than females. In 2005, males reported 24 cases, followed by 13 in 2006, 19 in 2007, 27 in 2008, 25 in 2009, and 49 cases in 2010. On the other hand, females accounted for 49 cases in 2005, 32 in 2006, 53 in 2007, 91 in 2008, 90 in 2009, and 87 in 2010. This trend indicates that between 2005 and 2010, nearly 72% of all reported gonorrhea cases were diagnosed in females.

Around 57% were diagnosed in people aged 20-29, and the second most impacted age group was 15-19, accounting for 31% of all gonorrhea infections in VI. It is worth noting that gonorrhea cases were higher among African-Americans. They accounted for 110 cases in 2010 compared to Hispanics who reported 23 cases, and Whites were the least impacted race with 2 cases in 2010.

According to the same report, between 2005 and 2010, around 78% of all chlamydia cases were diagnosed in females, and the 20-29 age group reported 55% of all chlamydia diagnoses in VI. The second most impacts group was 15-19, which accounted for 33% of all chlamydia cases. African-Americans accounted for the highest number of chlamydia cases in VI, followed by Hispanics and Whites. Around 179 males reported chlamydia cases in VI in 2010, and 436 females were diagnosed with the infection the same year. The black population accounted for 460 cases in 2010, followed by Hispanics with 115 cases, and the third-highest rate of cases was reported in whites with 10 cases.

HIV-Specific Data

According to the United States Department of health data for the Virgin Islands, in 2014, 643 people were living with HIV in Virgin Island, with HIV prevalence data of 617.3 per 100,000 population. The majority of the people living with HIV were males, who made up 57.4% of the total HIV population. On the other hand, females were 40.2% of the total people living with HIV in the Virgin Islands.

Most people living with the disease in this territory were males (57.4%), black (58.9%), and 35 years of age or older (87.2%). Persons with HIV infection attributed to heterosexual contact represented the largest percentage of HIV infection (34.4%).

Black Americans were the largest ethnic group present on the island (66.1%). Similarly, Black Americans also were the largest group to be diagnosed with HIV. of the total people living with HIV in the Virgin Islands, 58.9% were black Americans. The Hispanic population made up only 17.4% of the total population of Virgin Island, but they were disproportionately affected by HIV. 30.3% of the total people living with HIV in 2014 belonged to Hispanic backgrounds. The report also indicates that most of the new HIV infections diagnosed between 2010 and 2014 mostly belonged to the age group 35 years or above (70.9%).

Considering the modes of transmission of HIV, the most popular modes of transmission for males was male to male or gay sexual contact that accounted for 30.3% of the new diagnosis in males, followed by 19.7% transmitted due to heterosexual contact and the rest due to the use of contaminated syringes for drugs. In females, heterosexual contact attributed to 41.2% of the total diagnosis, while less popular modes of transmission were contaminated syringes or injection use.

State Initiatives

The Virgin Islands Department of Health (VIDOH) Communicable Disease STD/HIV/TB Program works to prevent and contain STDs, including HIV/AIDS via disease intervention, screening, education, treatment, and diagnostic activities. It coordinates with the HIV and TB prevention programs to increase access to STD testing and treatment across VI. Cost-effective screening facilities and risk education methods are offered throughout the territory. Moreover, the program monitors disease trends and works with other health agencies to control the spread of STDs.

The program’s core objective is to reduce the incidence of HIV, STD, and TB by offering quality sex education, counseling, screening and treatment opportunities to VI residents. The Communicable Disease STD/HIV/TB Program receives 95% funding from the federal government, and grantors include the CDC’s Department of Health and Human Services and Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA).

Besides offering health education, several other initiatives are implemented to prevent STD infections in the territory. For instance, all pregnant females are screened for STDs during the first trimester, second trimester, and third trimester.

The Virgin Islands Department of Health Communicable Diseases Division (STD/HIV/TB Services) is responsible for offering extensive STD testing services for gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia, along with UTIs and other types of vaginal infections. Testing is offered at designated sites on a walk-in basis, and dermatology treatment is offered to people diagnosed with molluscum or genital warts.

STD clinics play a crucial role in STD and HIV diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and care in VI. STD clinics operate all across VI and are essential healthcare settings for people who cannot otherwise access necessary treatment options. STD clinics serve individuals who aren’t already engaged in HIV prevention programs or the territory’s primary healthcare system for STD prevention. This includes uninsured individuals and people looking for confidential services.

HIV Initiatives in Virgin Islands

Most of the HIV related initiatives and HIV care providers in the Virgin Islands receive funding from the Ryan White Part B program and the AIDS Drugs Assistance Program. Both of these programs mainly operate in all the U.S. states and territories of the United States. Programs recipients of the funding from these programs provide primary medical care, case management services, financial assistance in cases where the individuals belong to low-income groups and are uninsured or underinsured. These funds are also used to provide mental health services, housing and other necessary medical services to HIV patients.

The United States Virgin Island Department of Health has a specialized infectious disease program. This program is divided into subprograms that focus on educating the general public about the virus, creating awareness about the preventive measures, HIV testing and treatment for those diagnosed with HIV. The program is operational in two locations, St. Thomas and St. Croix, to facilitate all the residents of the Virgin Islands.

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  • Romaguera, R., 2021. STD clinics contribute to ending the HIV epidemic in the United States. HIV.gov. Available at: https://www.hiv.gov/blog/std-clinics-contribute-ending-hiv-epidemic-united-states
  • CDC, 2021. Table 16. Gonorrhea among males - reported cases and rates of reported cases by state/territory and region in alphabetical order, United States, 2015-2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/std/statistics/2019/tables/16.htm
  • CDC, 2021. Table 27. primary and secondary syphilis - reported cases and rates of reported cases by state/territory and region in alphabetical order, United States, 2015-2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/std/statistics/2019/tables/27.htm
  • CDC, 2021. Table 3. chlamydia - reported cases and rates of reported cases by state/territory and region in alphabetical order, United States, 2015-2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/std/statistics/2019/tables/3.htm
  • The Source, 2011. Officials look at lowering STD rates for young virgin islanders. St. Thomas Source. Available at: https://stthomassource.com/content/2011/02/12/officials-look-lowering-std-rates-young-virgin-islanders/
  • USVI Department of Health, 2021. Sexually transmitted infections. doh.vi.gov. Available at: https://doh.vi.gov/programs/family-planning/discover/sexually-transmitted-infections
  • Virgin Islands Department of Health Communicable Disease Division STD/HIV/TB Program, 2010. STD/HIV Surveillance Report 2010. doh.vi.gov. Available at: https://doh.vi.gov/sites/default/files/2010-hiv-surveillance%20report.pdf
  • The Virgin Islands Department of Health – Communicable Diseases Division, 2021. DC Department of Health HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB . doh.dc.gov. Available at: https://doh.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/doh/publication/attachments/FACT%20SHEET%20HIV_AIDS%20_0.pdf

How Does it Work?

See how simple and easy it is to get tested for STDs in Virgin Islands 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?

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