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Lacking Insurance, How Does One Get An STD/STI Screening?

It has been estimated that nearly 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted disease or infection are diagnosed annually. For most of the population, testing services are available through their insurance. However, despite passage of the Affordable Care Act back in 2010, and despite subsidies which allow more and more people to enroll in the system, there are still millions of persons unable to obtain Obamacare insurance. These people cannot qualify for coverage for one reason or another. This means that obtaining necessary screening, diagnosis and treatment for STIs and STDs is seemingly impossible for them.

Yahoo.com has helped identify a number of sources by which the uninsured poor may yet obtain free or low-cost screening and treatment. These providers have long offered such services to the public, due to the imperative that the spread of such conditions be controlled and curtailed as far as possible. The promotion of sexual health and its facilitation by concrete effort has helped to reduce the incidence of STDs and STIs by 10 to 15 percent since 2006. Despite that, serious disparities by both race and class exist in the infection profile, and the estimated annual costs to the U.S. healthcare system amount to $16.4 billion because of the scourge of STDs and STIs.

Planned Parenthood has long offered health screenings to low-income patients for a minimal flat fee or even for no cost. They also distribute condoms and other disease safeguards for a nominal cost or for free. These services have aided many who lack health insurance coverage and otherwise would receive no help whatsoever. However, many rural communities lack a Planned Parenthood clinic, which still leaves several million persons without resource except for local clinics. These services will charge patients between $50 and $350 depending upon the location and provider.

Because of the specific threat of HIV, more low- or no-cost options are made available to persons without insurance. OraQuick is, to date, the only FDA-approved at-home test for STIs. These kits can be purchased for $45 from most clinics and drugstores and can be used for up to three months from the date the package is opened and exposed. A more updated testing kit which can detect HIV within a much quicker timeframe of up to twenty days is available at a cost of $139. It is a cost for a test worth twice the price.