Published January 5, 2021 Written by Testing.com Editorial Staff
Sexually transmitted diseases are becoming increasingly prevalent in North Carolina, with Raleigh disclosing some of the highest case numbers in the state. In 2018, the CDC reported that the combined total of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis cases exceeded 10,000.
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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.
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are the three most prevalent STDs in Raleigh and are closely monitored by the CDC. Raleigh residents are diagnosed with these STDs at a disproportionately high rate compared to the rest of the state and the nation as a whole.
In 2018, the CDC disclosed 7,710 chlamydia infections in Raleigh, which is a 6% increase over the number reported in 2017 and a 50% increase over the number of infections in 2014. This disease was reported at a frequency of 578 cases per 100,000 people, compared to the national rate of 540. Sixty-five percent of these infections were reported in females that year, compared to 68% of cases in 2014. Statewide, the majority of those with this infection are aged 20-24.
Chlamydia Cases and Rates in North Carolina, 2018
Gonorrhea was reported in 2,554 residents of Raleigh in 2018, including 1,126 females and 1,428 males. Overall, the number of infections increased by 3% since 2017 and by 81% since 2014, following the statewide upward trend during these time periods. While the frequency of this infection among females has gone up in recent years, going from 162 per 100,000 females in 2012 to 218 in 2018, the increase has been more drastic in the male population. In 2012, the rate of gonorrhea among males was 130, and in 2018, it was 245.
Gonorrhea Cases and Rates in North Carolina, 2000-2018
While syphilis doesn’t affect as many people as gonorrhea and chlamydia, it’s becoming increasingly prevalent, particularly in cities like Raleigh. In 2018, there were 173 primary and secondary syphilis cases in the city. This corresponds with a rate of 13, which is higher than the state and national rates of 11. The majority of infections were in males, particularly those aged 20-34.
While some individuals with STDs experience unpleasant symptoms, many STDs don’t cause noticeable issues, especially in the early stages. Unfortunately, STDs don’t go away on their own, and without treatment, they can lead to long-term problems such as arthritis, pain, sterility or infertility, and permanent brain, nerve, and tissue damage. For clients who don’t have health insurance or don’t feel comfortable obtaining STD services from their regular doctor, Raleigh is home to several clinics and organizations that provide free or low-cost STD testing and treatment.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain one of the most critical public health challenges facing the United States, with approximately 26 million new STD infections occurring every year. Nearly half of these new infections affect young people ages 15 to 24.
Community-based organizations are a vital first line of defense in the fight against STDs and HIV/AIDS in particular. They generate awareness and foster social change while providing access to testing and treatment.
You may not be aware of all the STD resources in Raleigh that can help prevent the spread of STDs. Get connected with these community organizations that are leading the fight against STDs and HIV/AIDS with resources and support:
LGBT Center of Raleigh
The LGBT Center of Raleigh serves individuals in and around the Triangle area by providing free HIV and STD testing. Services are available on a walk-in basis every Monday evening from 5 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., and testing outside of this time can be scheduled by calling the center. HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis C are tested through a blood draw, and gonorrhea and chlamydia are tested through a urine sample, and test results are available within a couple of weeks. Those who test positive are referred to local healthcare providers for treatment.
19 West Hargett Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 832-4484 Website
The Women's Center
The Women’s Center provides for the needs of homeless and at-risk women in the Raleigh region. Its supportive services include free and confidential HIV and STD testing. Services are provided twice monthly, and walk-ins are welcome. In addition to testing services, the center provides homeless prevention and health education programs.
400 South West Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 829-3711 Website
Raleigh Health Center
Raleigh Health Center, which is operated by Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, provides STD testing, treatment, and prevention services for males and females. STDs that clients can be tested for include chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, genital warts, and trichomoniasis. Test results are available within a few days to a few weeks and are provided over the phone. The clinic accepts most public and private health insurance plans and offers a sliding fee schedule for self-paying clients. Appointments are required for services and can be made over the phone or online. STD services for those without symptoms may be provided via telehealth.
100 South Boylan Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27603
(919) 833-7526 Website
Gateway Women's Care
Gateway Women’s Care’s Raleigh location provides walk-in STD testing for males and females. Testing services are free and confidential and include screenings for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and hepatitis C. In addition to STD testing, the clinic provides a variety of reproductive services, including pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and options counseling.
1306 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27605
(919) 833-0096 Website
Advance Community Health
Advance Community Health is a community-based clinic that offers a variety of low-cost services, including some gynecological services such as STD testing and treatment. Appointments are required for services and can be made by calling the clinic. STDs that clients can be tested for include chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, and hepatitis C, as well as conventional HIV tests. Clients can also receive hepatitis A and B vaccines. Most health insurance plans are accepted, and a sliding fee schedule is available to qualifying clients without insurance coverage.
1011 Rock Quarry Road
Raleigh, NC 27610
(919) 833-3111 Website
Avance Care provides primary care services for adolescents and adults, including testing for HPV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Clients can also obtain preventative care, including vaccines for HPV and hepatitis A and B. Appointments are required for services and can be made over the phone or through the clinic’s online booking tool. The clinic accepts most health insurance plans, and it has discounted rates for clients who don’t have insurance coverage. In addition to STD testing and treatment, Avance Care offers preventative care, health services for men and women, flu vaccines, allergy services, and behavioral wellness.
The Wake County Human Services’ Public Health Center provides HIV and STD education and outreach services to those who live in the Raleigh region. Services may be offered by appointment or on a walk-in basis. The center’s services include condom distribution sites and free information sessions covering topics surrounding STDs such as symptoms, protection methods, treatment options, and community resources. The center also hosts confidential STD counseling and testing at various community locations.