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Where to Get Free or Lower-Cost STI Testing Near You

Where to Get Free or Lower-Cost STI Testing Near You

Where to Get Free or Lower-Cost STI Testing Near You

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 20 million new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the United States every year. While some STIs can be cured with antibiotics, others, like HIV, have no cure. That’s why getting tested for STIs is so essential. To practice safe sex and protect yourself and your partner, you should get tested for STIs before having sex. If you’re worried about the cost of getting tested, it’s reassuring to know that there are many places to do free STD testing in Portland. This article is for you if you’re interested in finding free or low-cost STI testing.

STI Testing: Why Is It Important?

Unfortunately, most STIs do not present symptoms in their early stages. This asymptomatic period can last for weeks, months, or even years. And this lack of symptoms is one reason why STIs are so prevalent.

Despite some STIs remaining asymptomatic, if left untreated, they can cause a range of severe health complications, including:

  • Infertility
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Cervical cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Organ damage

That’s why early detection and treatment of STIs are so important. With early detection, you can avoid these serious health complications and get the treatment you need to stay healthy.

The Best Time To Test

The CDC’s STI testing guidelines for the best time to get tested for STIs are as follows:

Women under 25 who are sexually active – The CDC recommends that women under the age of 25 who are sexually active get tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia once every year.

Women over 25 who are sexually active – The CDC also recommends that women over 25 years who engage in sexually risky behavior, including having unprotected sex or having multiple partners, get tested annually for gonorrhea or chlamydia.

Men who have sex with men (MSM) – MSM should be tested for HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea at least once a year. In addition, those who engage in highly risky behavior such as unprotected anal sex or have multiple partners should be tested more frequently, at least every 3-6 months.

Pregnant women – To prevent mother-to-child transmission of STIs, the CDC recommends that all pregnant women be screened for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

Everyone should be screened for HIV at least once, regardless of sexual history.

Now that you know the CDC’s recommendations for STI testing, you can work with your healthcare provider to figure out the best testing schedule for you.

Testing For STIs: Where To Go

Deciding to go for STI testing is a commendable and responsible decision. After all, taking charge of one’s sexual health is crucial to protect oneself and one’s partner(s). But where should you go for testing? And where is it available for free or at a low cost?

A few options are available for those looking to get tested for STIs. Let’s examine some of the most popular ones.

Local Planned Parenthood

The local planned parenthood clinics offer confidential and affordable STI testing for both men and women. They also provide various sexual health services, such as contraception and education.

Since these facilities receive government funding, they can usually offer their services at a reduced rate or even for free. They also operate on a sliding scale, meaning that your payments will be based on your income.

Mobile Clinics

Mobile clinics offer a convenient solution if you live in a rural setting or don’t have access to a car. These clinics travel to different locations on set days and times, making STI testing more accessible. 

Not For Profit Organizations

A variety of Not For Profit Organizations may target specific vulnerable populations, such as youth, LGBTQ, or sex workers. Many of these organizations offer free or low-cost STI testing.

To find a not-for-profit organization near you that offers STI testing, you can do a quick search online.

College And University Health Centers

Since institutions of higher learning cater to sexually active people of reproductive age, most have STI testing available on-site. In addition to offering affordable STI tests, these centers may also offer contraception and other services.

Home Testing Kits

For people who want the convenience of testing in the privacy of their own homes, there are a variety of home-testing STI kits available. While these may be more expensive than other testing options, they offer the added benefit of anonymity and privacy.

There are various options available for those looking to get tested for STIs. The best choice for you will depend on your circumstances. However, some popular options include local Planned Parenthood clinics, mobile clinics, and not-for-profit organizations. College and university health centers are also good options for affordable STI testing. Home testing kits are another option for those who want the convenience and privacy of testing in their own homes. Whichever option you choose, getting tested is a responsible and commendable decision.

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Where to Get Free or Lower-Cost STI Testing Near You