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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 West Virginia. 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.
West Virginia STD Data
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that around 1.2 million American citizens were living with HIV in 2017-18, and about 161,800 of them were unaware of their status. Around 40% of new HIV infections were transmitted to others by people who didn't know they had contracted the virus. Hence, for anyone sexually active, getting tested for HIV should be the primary step to maintain a healthy life and prevent HIV transmission.
West Virginia, as mentioned above, is experiencing a sudden HIV outbreak. Therefore, it becomes imperative for people to make HIV testing a mandatory part of their annual health checkup. CDC recommends that individuals between the ages 13 and 64 get tested for HIV when they undergo routine health care, and those at higher risk should get tested at least once a year.
As per a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, people diagnosed with HIV early and start the treatment right away are at a clear health advantage compared to those diagnosed at a later stage of HIV. People aware of their health status can immediately start antiretroviral therapy, a potent HIV treatment, and have a healthy life.
The sooner the treatment is initiated after HIV diagnosis, the longer life the infected person will enjoy. Antiretroviral therapy reduces the viral load, which is the HIV amount in the blood, prevents the virus's transmission to others, and reduces the person's vulnerability to other HIV-related illnesses.
The West Virginia Division of STD & HIV is responsible for providing S.I.T.E (surveillance, intervention, testing, and education) services to the at-risk population. It also ensures West Virginians have access to quality care and prevention methods to control the outbreak. It is required to monitor the spread of STDs, prevent/reduce behaviors that cause STDs transmission, and strengthen referral systems to quality prevention/treatment services.
West Virginia State Health Department recently collaborated with Grindr dating app to spread the word about increasing STD rates and dangers of primary/secondary syphilis. According to a press release, the purpose of this partnership was to reach out to a broader range of at-risk populations.
A public service message was delivered to whoever opened the Grindr app. it is worth noting that this app caters to LGBTQ community members within a 50-mile radius of Morgantown. 66,000 users saw this message, and over 7% visited the monchd.org/syphilis.html web page within seven months. The health department will be partnering with other dating apps to spread awareness about the dangers of syphilis and other STDs.
Since the stigma surrounding STDs essentially prevents people from getting tested, the health department is trying to fight it by working in collaboration with other health care providers and community centers.
The Division of Surveillance and Disease Control is responsible for tracking disease occurrences to offer appropriate preventive interventions and educate the masses on protecting themselves from STDs.
Another critical initiative from the WV state government is the AIDS/HIV & STD Program. The STD Program offers support to local facilities and clinical services regarding disease detection, treatment, and prevention. It monitors prevention efforts, performs surveillance, and offers confidential investigation and consultation facilities too.
Moreover, the STD Program monitors disease morbidity in public and private sectors on Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), and Herpes Simplex Virus Type II (HSV). As many as 9 disease investigators are located across the state to perform field epidemiology on HIV, Early Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Acute Hepatitis B infections.
The West Virginia Division of STD & HIV provides surveillance, testing, intervention, education (S.I.T.E) and health care services to prevent/control the spread of HIV in WV. The division is required to monitor the HIV epidemic, ensure improvement in public awareness of HIV, prevent/reduce risk behaviors that result in HIV transmission, ensure a secure and quality system for HIV/AIDS surveillance and that all at-risk population groups are aware of their serostatus.
Under the Part B of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009, the state of West Virginia receives grants to improve the quality and availability of HIV health care and support services. The WV Ryan White Part B Program also conducts/supports medical case management for qualified HIV infected WV residents. Through the program, nearly 1,300 WV residents are served annually.
Ryan White Part B program works in close collaboration with other Ryan White funded programs as well as private providers to offer coordinated client services and prevent duplication of efforts. The department makes sure people living with HIV have access to quality care and remain in HIV primary care.
In 2018–2019, WV recorded an unexpected and rapid rise in new HIV diagnoses among people who inject drugs. The WV Bureau for Public Health, community partners, CDC, and local health departments have collaborated to take decisive action to bridge the gaps in HIV care and prevention services.
As many as ten Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) are operating statewide to address the growing trend of drug injection. SSPs are community-based prevention programs offering a range of services such as linkage to substance abuse disorder treatment, access/disposal of sterile syringes/injection equipment, vaccination testing, and linkage to care. Furthermore, the program ensures people can access treatment for infectious diseases.
Recently, Republican Governor Jim Justice signed a bill to implement stricter guidelines for needle exchange programs to address the spike in HIV cases across the state. The bill will make it mandatory for distribution and syringe collection programs to acquire licenses. Operators will have to offer a broader range of health outreach services, such as overdose prevention education and/or substance abuse treatment program's recommendations. Participants will also show an identification card to obtain a syringe.
West Virginia has the lowest STD transmission rates in the country, but young adults and teen cases are rapidly rising statewide. Despite being ranked low, the youth is badly impacted by STDs. The state's population-adjusted chlamydia rate in 2017 was the lowest in the USA with 226.1 cases/100,000 people, which is less than half the overall US rate and 75% lower than the state with the highest rate that year, Alaska. During 2014, WV ranked 50th in chlamydial infections with 245 cases/100,000 people, and in gonorrheal infections, the state ranked 44th with just over 45 cases/100,000 people.
Between 2013 and 2017, WV retained its status as the state with the lowest STDs cases and even marked an 18% decline in overall STDs cases, becoming the only state to report a drop during this period.
The state's population-adjusted gonorrhea rate was declared the 6th lowest in 2017, with 70.8 cases/100,000 population. It was nearly 60% lower than the overall national rate and over four times lower than Mississippi's rates, which ranked at the top in gonorrheal infection rates. Since 2012, the state's gonorrheal infection rates have remained steady, but a huge spike was noted in 2017. On the whole, the rate increased 58% between 2012 and 2017.
The state's primary and secondary syphilis infections rate was about 3.4 cases per 100,000 people, making it rank 43rd nationally. WV's syphilis rate was approximately a third of the overall US rate in 2017 and around 82% lower than Nevada's national leader in syphilis prevalence. Still, the fact cannot be ignored that the state's syphilis rate has increased substantially over the years, and between 2013 and 2017, it surged by 300%.
In WV, chlamydia is the most prevalent of all three reportable STDs, with 4,128 infections in 2017. This rate was lower than that of 2016, as it reported 4,718 cases that year. The next STD with a higher prevalence in WV was gonorrhea, with 1,301 reported cases in 2017, marking a 38.2% increase from 2016. The third most commonly reported STD is syphilis.
The state reported an 8% rise in syphilis cases between 2016 and 2017, and most of the cases were diagnosed among men who have sex with men, followed by the heterosexual population. In 2017, two congenital syphilis cases were reported in the state, one stillbirth, and one baby was born with congenital syphilis, which was successfully treated.
Monongalia and Morgantown Counties are the worst affected areas in WV. According to the Monongalia County Health Department, young adults and men having sex with men account for the highest number of cases in the region.
By legislative rule, AIDS became a reportable disease in WV in April 1984, and HIV became reportable in the state in September 1989.
In 2017 WV had the country's 35th highest rate of new HIV diagnoses, and 55% of the residents were found to be virally suppressed, and 88% of people with HIV in the state were declared aware of their health status indicating that approx. 245 people per 100,000 population couldn't get the care they required. Across the state, around 3,947 HIV tests were offered in WV.
According to the 2018 HIV statistics, the state reported 86 new HIV diagnoses. The percentage of males was higher than females, with over 78% and 21.3% of all new HIV cases, respectively.
As per the state's HIV Surveillance Report 2017, the top five WV counties that reported the higher rate of new diagnoses during 2012-2016 were Kanawha, Raleigh, Cabell, Berkeley, and Monongalia.
The state health department identified that HIV prevalence was higher in major urban areas such as Martinsburg in Berkeley County, reported 213 cases/100,000 population, followed by Charleston in Kanawha country, which accounted for 171 cases/100,000 people, Huntington in Cabell County reported 166 cases/100,000 people, Beckley in Raleigh County had the most cases with 158/100,000 people. Morgantown in Monongalia County reported 127 cases/100,000 people.
By 2014, just 12.5% of all HIV cases in WV resulted from intravenous drug use, and by 2019, this rate increased to over 64%, according to the state health department. This spike was mainly noted in Cabell and Kanawha counties. The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health (BPH) noticed an upsurge in HIV diagnoses among people who inject drugs in January 2019, and the largest proportion of the cases was noted in Cabell County. The CDC, BPH, and Cabell-Huntington Health Department collectively conducted a robust investigation and identified that from an annual average of 2 cases in 2015-2017, HIV prevalence among people who inject drugs had increased to 81 cases, marking a 2,285% increase in 2018-19.
Chlamydia is more prevalent among people between 15-29 years as this age group accounted for 70.1% of all reported chlamydia cases in 2017. African American population was disproportionately affected by chlamydia, with 1,118 cases per 100,000 people. Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders reported 467.3 cases, while whites reported the highest percentage of cases with 64%.
Gonorrheal infections were reported the most among 15-29-year-old females and 20-34-year-old male population. The disparity was higher among African American population with 692.3 cases/100,000 people.
Early syphilis, which is the most infectious stage of syphilis, remains a grave health concern in WV. The number of cases is relatively higher among men who have sex with men. In 2011, the rate of early syphilis was 0.22/100,000 people, which increased to 5.07/100,000 people in 2015.
Regarding chlamydia, the white race reportedly accounted for 2,653 cases (152.5/100,000), becoming the most impacted race in WV. Blacks followed this trend with 705 cases/100,000 people, American Indian and Alaska Natives reported 12 cases with 316 cases/100,000 people, and Asians accounted for 10 chlamydia cases (80.6/100,000).
Regarding gonorrheal infection, whites reported 41 cases/100,0000 with overall 716 cases, blacks accounted for 437 cases (692/100,000), followed by American Indian and Alaska Native, which reported 2 cases (52.8/100,000).
According to AIDSVu, in WV, of all the people living with HIV, around 77.8% were males, and 22.2% were females in 2018. This proportion was rather varied for people of color as whites accounted for the highest percentage of HIV-infected individuals with over 67% of all reported cases in 2018, followed by African-Americans with over 20% of all cases, and Hispanics with 5.2% of all diagnoses.
Age-wise, the worst affected group was people above 55 years with more than 36% of all cases, followed by 45-54 age group that reportedly accounted for around 30% of HIV cases statewide, and the third most impacted group was people aged 25-34 with close to 20% of all cases.
Since WV is experiencing an unexpectedly high HIV outbreak among people who inject drugs, according to the state's health department data, most of the cases were identified in males (58%) and out of these, 74% of the cases were diagnosed in people aged 20-39 years. Out of these cases, 91% were diagnosed in whites, and 85% inferred transmission in early 2018. The estimated transmission rate was 78 cases/100,000 people.
The rate of HIV cases tied to
drug use has been increasing in Kanawha since 2018 as from two in 2018, the
number of cases increased to 15 in 2019. By 2020, as many as 35 cases were
reported in WV, followed by 41 in 2021, as per the data shared by the West
Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
Select a city below to see more local STD testing options
|Spruce, WV||Viola, WV|
|Nottingham, WV||Selwyn, WV|
|Kieffer, WV||Hutchinson, WV|
|Hudson, WV||Laing, WV|
|Ruth, WV||Countsville, WV|
|Marrtown, WV||Sherman, WV|
|Tipton, WV||Howells Mill, WV|
|Sandy, WV||Dallison, WV|
|Bethesda, WV||Graysville, WV|
|Greenstown, WV||Helvetia, WV|
|Flinn, WV||Murphytown, WV|
|Stone Branch, WV||Durgon, WV|
|Ury, WV||Big Stick, WV|
|Man, WV||Neptune, WV|
|O'Brion, WV||Derryhale, WV|
|Lloydsville, WV||Harlin, WV|
|Moorefield, WV||Webster Springs, WV|
|Euclid, WV||Helen, WV|
|Craddock, WV||Unger, WV|
|Basore, WV||Sissonville, WV|
|Heavener Grove, WV||Nemours, WV|
|Whetstone, WV||Oakton, WV|
|Rockton, WV||Prosperity, WV|
|Backus, WV||Nicolette, WV|
|Liberty Hill, WV||Faulkner, WV|
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.
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.
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.
Standard STD testing can detect common sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and hepatitis B and C. Additional tests may be required for less common STDs or specific situations.
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.