STD Testing in Boston, Massachusetts
STD Testing in Boston, Massachusetts
If you think you might have been exposed to an STD, are feeling STD symptoms, or just want a screening to be proactive, rest assured there are options in Boston for free and low-cost STD testing.
STD cases across the country are on the rise, yet Massachusetts rates for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are below the national average. Based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) STD Surveillance State Rankings, the state is No. 38 for chlamydia, No. 42 for gonorrhea, No. 25 for primary and secondary syphilis, and No. 33 for congenital syphilis. That said, STD cases are higher in Boston and Suffolk County than the rest of the state.
There are 70 STD testing locations in Boston, including the Planned Parenthood of Greater Boston Health Center, which also provides LGBTQ+ services. Fenway Health is a federally-funded health center that serves anyone regardless of your ability to pay and provides advanced services like fourth-generation HIV serum testing. Following is a comprehensive listing of STD testing sites in Boston and how testing works.
Find an STD Testing Location in Boston, Massachusetts
At-Home STD Testing
Testing for STDs at home is safe, convenient, and private. Performed regularly, it can help you stay healthy and avoid unknowingly transmitting STDs.
You have many options for at-home STD testing. The best at-home STD tests are FDA approved and evaluated for safety and accuracy with fast result turnaround times and support from health care professionals.
At-home STD testing kits should include instructions for collection and test registration, along with materials such as containers and swabs to collect and send your sample to the lab. Most at-home STD tests offer results in about five days through a secure online patient portal.
STD Testing Options in Boston, Massachusetts
Choose the STD testing option you’re most comfortable with:
- Private clinic: Your primary care physician or OB-GYN can order STD tests.
- Local lab: Some labs offer direct testing without a doctor’s orders.
- Community clinic: A community clinic, such as city or county clinics, or nonprofit organizations may offer STD testing. Some offer STD tests for free or low cost.
At home: You can test for STDs at home using a kit and send your sample to a lab for analysis.
When Should I Get Tested for STDs?
If you think you might have an STD, it’s best to get tested. STDs don’t go away if you ignore them; they’ll just get worse and could grow into more serious health consequences. If left untreated, some STDs can lead to issues like infertility and more serious infections. You can also spread STDs to sexual partners if you have an untreated infection. Ask your health care provider for STD testing recommendations or follow CDC recommendations for STD testing.
What Will Be Tested in an STD Panel?
You can request specific STD tests or a full panel. An STD clinic can recommend tests based on your sexual health and symptoms. A routine STD panel may include:
A full-panel STD test adds:
How Much Will STD Testing Cost in Boston, Massachusetts?
The cost of an STD test will vary by location and test type. Some clinics, usually community or nonprofit clinics, offer free or low-cost testing. Labs, clinics, and at-home testing companies may accept insurance to cover or lower your cost of testing. Lab testing fees range from $8 to $150. At-home tests cost between $35 and $175 per test.
Do I Need an Appointment for Testing in Boston, Massachusetts?
Appointment policies vary by location, so call ahead or check the clinic website before you head in for a test. Some clinics or testing centers accept walk-ins or have same-day or next-day appointments.
How Fast Will I Get My Test Results in Boston, Massachusetts?
Your STD test results time will depend on the test. Some clinics offer rapid HIV testing, which can offer results in less than 30 minutes. Bacterial STD testing (chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis) takes several days to get results, while viral STD testing (HPV, herpes, or HIV) results can take just one to two days.
Community STD Testing Centers in Boston, Massachusetts
Community-based STD testing organizations generate awareness and foster social change while providing access to testing and treatment.
If you’re concerned about visiting your regular doctor or can’t afford the cost of private testing, a community testing center may be able to help. While community testing centers may charge a fee for STD testing, it’s common to find free or low-cost testing from these resources:
Planned Parenthood of Greater Boston Health Center
The Greater Boston Health Center is operated by Planned Parenthood and offers a range of services, including LGBTQ health needs, birth control, men’s health services, and STD resources. Treatment, testing, and vaccines for the most common STDs are available, as are 30-minute rapid exams using mouth swabs. A range of STD prevention options are also available, including male and female condoms, HPV vaccines, dental dams, and educational services. The hours are Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday through Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
1055 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215, 617-616-1617
Fenway Health is a federally-funded health center with a special focus on serving the LGBTQIA+ community. Fenway’s public health HIV and STD testing services are geared towards men who have sex with men, transgendered people, and partners of either group. For others who require HIV testing, Fenway can schedule appointments with primary care providers and recommend other same-day and walk-in options. This facility provides care regardless of your income, family size, credit, or your ability to pay and offers state-of-the-art services, such as fourth-generation HIV serum testing. Testing and treatment for symptomatic bacterial STDs and herpes are also available. If you have a chronic condition, you may be assigned a registered nurse as a case manager for long-term treatment.
1340 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215, Multiple Boston Locations, 617-927-6000
Massachusetts General Hospital Sexual Health Clinic
The Massachusetts General Hospital Sexual Health Clinic has provided testing and treatment for STDs in the Boston area for over 60 years. This is a free clinic and no insurance is required. A wide range of testing is available, including chlamydia, scabies, Human papillomavirus, vaginitis, genital warts, syphilis, molluscum, gonorrhea, and genital herpes infections (HSV). HIV screening and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV are also available. You can walk in on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, with appointments available on Mondays. You are welcome to take complimentary STD prevention and safe sex practices literature home with you from any visit.
55 Fruit St., Cox Building, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02114, Multiple Boston Locations, 617-726-2000
UMass Boston Health Services
University Health Services offers confidential HIV/AIDS counseling and testing daily. You can get same-day rapid testing onsite (OraQuick HIV 1 -2 ) or HIV 1 and 2 antibody testing which can be sent to its reference lab (Quest Diagnostics). Testing is covered by all health insurances. If you do not want to bill your insurance, testing costs $25.
100 William T. Morrissey Blvd., Quinn Admin Bldg, 2nd floor, Boston, MA 02125, 617-287-5660
Boston HAPPENS is a donation-supported free clinic dedicated to serving adolescents and adults under age 25 who have HIV or are at risk for STDs. Short for HIV Adolescent Provider and Peer Education Network for Services, this facility offers testing for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis, as well as a full range of HIV testing and counseling services. Post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP) and follow-up treatments are available to sexual assault victims, and an interdisciplinary team is available for educational and preventative training. At-risk youths can also access traditional medical services, such as primary care and immunizations.
401 Park Dr., Suite 602, Boston, MA 02215, 617-355-6890