Bethalto Health Center
The Illinois Department of Public Health keeps numbers on STD diagnoses for each county. It tracks cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, early syphilis, and primary and secondary syphilis. Provisional reports compare numbers for the first three quarters of 2019 to the same interval in 2020. For that period, chlamydia and syphilis numbers in Madison County dropped while gonorrhea numbers remained mostly the same.
The IDPH has only published provisional data for parts of 2019 and 2020. However, it published final data for 2018 and 2017. From 2017 to 2018, Madison County saw an increase of 8% in chlamydia diagnoses. Totals were 1,238 in 2017 and 1,335 in 2018.
From January 1 through September 30, 2019, cases totaled 921. Extrapolating out to estimate a full year from that data indicates that 2019 is close to equal to 2017 when it comes to chlamydia diagnoses in Madison County.
Interestingly, the first three quarters in 2020 only recorded 778 chlamydia cases in the county. That’s well under the average for the previous three years. However, it may be that lack of access to testing due to the COVID-19 pandemic or a delay in reporting is masking some cases.
For the state of Illinois, chlamydia rates tend to be higher in females, young people, and black non-Hispanics. In 2017, the IDPH indicated that females accounted for 65.3% of chlamydia cases in the state, and males accounted for 34.5%. People aged 15 through 24 made up 64.1% of the cases documented in Illinois for the same year.
From 2017 to 2018, Madison County experienced an increase in gonorrhea diagnoses recorded. There were 17% more cases in 2018. In 2017, there were 357 cases, and in 2018, there were 416 cases in the county.
For 2019, there were 323 cases of gonorrhea in the county for the first three quarters. Estimating for the entire year provides roughly 430, which is more than in 2018. For the first three quarters in 2020, gonorrhea cases documented in the county totaled 340. That indicates a likely increase over the 2019 number.
State data for 2017 indicates that gonorrhea is a disease that impacts more younger people in Illinois. People aged 15 to 29 accounted for 72.3% of the cases. The age group from 20 to 24 had the highest rate of cases in 2017 in the state.
During 2017, gonorrhea was more evenly split between genders in Illinois than chlamydia. Around 59% of cases were associated with females, while approximately 41% were associated with males.
Black non-Hispanics had by far the highest rate of gonorrhea cases in 2017 in Illinois. The rate of cases among people of this race was more than 700 in 100,000. The next highest rate was 265 in 100,000, which was associated with the American Indian/Alaska Native ethnicity group.
Syphilis is broken up into two categories by the IDPH. From 2017 to 2018, Madison County experienced a 55% increase in primary and secondary syphilis cases and a 61% increase in early syphilis diagnoses.
Those percentages sound high, but the numbers are overall fairly low. In 2018, Madison county recorded 17 cases of primary or secondary syphilis and 29 cases of early syphilis.
For the first three quarters of 2019, primary and secondary syphilis cases totaled 22, and early syphilis cases totaled 36. That does set the stage for infections to increase by a dramatic percentage from 2018 to 2019.
Cases reported in 2020 for the first three quarters were very low. The IDPH documented five incidences of primary or secondary syphilis and six of early syphilis. However, these are provisional numbers, and lagging reporting is probably keeping the numbers lower than they actually are.
STDs can be very serious conditions. Many people discount that because STDs often don’t have symptoms at the beginning. But the longer you wait for a diagnosis, the longer treatment is delayed. When treatment is delayed, it can lead to even more serious long-term health issues — including some life-threatening ones. Getting tested often is one of the best ways to uncover an STD early so you can seek appropriate treatment. There are a number of resources you can turn to in the Edwardsville, IL, area for free or low-cost testing.
Normally, the Madison County Health Department offers a sexually transmitted disease clinic. While the clinic is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 in 2020, individuals who have an urgent need can call and speak to someone at the clinic for assistance. Once services resume, the clinic offers HIV and STD testing as well as TB services, immunizations and hearing and vision screening.
101 East Edwardsville Road
Wood River, IL 62095
SIHF is a comprehensive healthcare provider that offers pediatrics, OB/GYN, internal medicine and primary care. The provider takes health insurance, which means STD testing might be covered by your plan and cost only a copay. Call ahead to make an appointment or to find out if your insurance is accepted. Each location does offer STD testing, though services vary by location, so double-check if you’re interested in a particular disease screening.
2 Terminal Drive Suite 8
Bethalto, IL 62024
2615 Edwards Street
Alton, IL 62002
4 Memorial Drive
Alton, IL 62002
This is a Planned Parenthood clinic that offers HIV services, STD testing and treatment, STD vaccines and other health and wellness services, particularly those related to reproductive health. There are staff members at the clinic who speak English and Spanish, and phone interpreters are available for other languages. You do need an appointment other than for emergency contraception. The hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
317 Salem Place
Fairview Heights, IL 62208
This is a full-service medical center that includes doctor’s offices, hospital services and an emergency room. You may be able to access STD testing and treatment here. The center offers a Simple+Price program for those in the area without insurance. The program has affordable, up-front pricing for common tests and imaging. You do have to prepay for services with this program, and you may need an appointment.
2100 Madison Avenue
Granite City, IL 62040
One of the benefits of urgent care is that you can walk in without an appointment any time the clinic is open. This urgent care offers STD testing and some treatment services as well as referrals. The clinic takes a wide range of insurances, so call ahead or check the website to see if yours is included.
515 Belt Line Road
Collinsville, IL 62234