Experts recommend regular STI testing, whether you are symptomatic or not. Most STDs are symptomatic and, if left untreated, can lead to infertility, cancer, blindness, and severe cases of psychiatric manifestations.
Good news: There are a plethora of low to no-cost ways to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases, despite your location. This way, you no longer have to choose between your sexual health and paying for your gym membership, rent, or morning coffee.
Understandably, the next sensible question is, who is carrying out STD testing near me? If you lack insurance or are on a budget, here is where to go and what you need to know;-
Local Health Institutions
Most county and city government hospitals receive adequate state and federal funding and therefore offer free or low-cost STD testing. Almost all local health institutions can test for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, and chlamydia.
If you are unsure of the STIs services offers, search their official website. Or better still, ring them up or visit them.
Planned Parenthood Departments
Planned Parenthood is the largest single provider of reproductive health services in the US and worldwide. Their services include abortion, family planning, STD testing and prevention, infertility, and hormone therapy.
The NGO has a reputation for offering quality healthcare at subsidized prices. Since they receive government funding, their fees are charged on a sliding scale, i.e., whatever amount you pay depends on your demographic factors, income, and assistance eligibility.
Therefore, if you come from a low-income household, you will likely not have to pay. Even better, Planned Parenthood clinics are available in almost every state and city.
Many NGOs run local health centers that offer free or low-cost STI testing. These clinics receive funding from grants, donations, or fundraisers. STI tests may vary from clinic to clinic and city to city, but most test for HIV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.
University and College Health Centers
Research shows that almost half of the positive STD tests are from colleges and universities. As a result, most higher education centers offer free or low-cost STD testing to their students. You can call your institution’s health center to inquire more about the STD testing services available.
Whether you live in the city or village, you have likely come across souped-up vans offering healthcare services. STD testing and treatment is one of the health services provided and at meager rates.
At any given time, there are approximately 1,500 mobile clinics throughout the United States. Search the Mobile health Map on your browser to find one closest to you.
Most cities are home to local LGBTQ centers that either offer STI testing or have a directory of local providers offering LBGTQ friendly services. If you are in a big city, search the CenterLink LGBT Community Center Member Directory, and enter your location. Look for the nearest center near you and give them a call.
For those in smaller cities, inquire from fellow members of the LGBTQ community or make use of your browser.
Sexual health is an integral part of our daily lives. Therefore access to quality reproductive health services that do not dent your pocket should be a priority.