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CDC Reports 2012 STD Rates on the Rise

Each year, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) releases its report revealing past STD rates, patterns, and observations. This January 2014, the full 2012 STD report came out, revealing that STD rates are on the rise nationally.

By viewing and understanding these STD rates, health care providers can predict trends for the upcoming year, helping them better adjust treatment plans and educational outreach.

How did STD rates change from 2011 to 2012? And what are some steps to prevent the spread of STDs, according to the CDC? Here are the facts.

2012 STD Rates

Because data on other STDs such as herpes, trichomoniasis, and human papillomavirus (HPV) often go unreported, the CDC’s 2012 report focuses on chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Despite their higher report rates, many cases of these STDs also go undiagnosed and thus unreported — which means that the CDC’s report reveals only a hint of the reality of STDs in America.

STD Rates on the Rise

Compared to 2011, the 2012 STD rates all increased except for congenital syphilis:

  • TEST SMARTLY LABS | CDC Reports 2012 STD Rates on the RiseChlamydia: 1,422,976 cases reported in 2012 compared to 1,412,791 in 2011, with the STD rates per 100,000 people increased by 0.7%
  • Gonorrhea: 334,826 cases reported in 2012 compared to 321,849 in 2011, with the STD rates per 100,000 people increased by 4.1% in the third consecutive year of rising rates
  • Syphilis (primary & secondary): 15,667 cases reported in 2012 compared to 13,970 in 2011 with the STD rates per 100,000 people increased 11.1%
  • Syphilis (congenital): 322 cases reported in 2012 compared to 360 in 2011, with the STD rates per 100,000 people decreased by 10%

Groups With the Highest STD rates

STDs can infect anyone, but according to the 2012 data, the following STD rates are highest among certain groups.


Men who have sex with men (MSM) have higher STD rates when it comes to syphilis, making up 75% of all people with the most infectious forms of syphilis (primary and secondary). When the disease in primary or secondary form goes untreated, it can lead to stroke and visual impairment, plus place the infected person at more risk for contracting HIV.

The CDC notes that risk behaviors such as unprotected sex do contribute to these higher levels of syphilis, but also that social factors like lower economic status and the prevalence of homophobia may prevent gay, bisexual, and MSM from seeking treatment for the disease. To stop these rising STD rates, we should focus on eliminating the social stigma linked with syphilis, and also encourage all sexually active gay, bisexual, and MSM to be screened for syphilis, gonorrhea, and HIV at least yearly.

Gonorrhea & Chlamydia

Like in previous years, the 2012 CDC data on STD rates reveals that gonorrhea and chlamydia are most prevalent among Americans ages 15 – 24. Though both young adult men and women are affected by these soaring STD rates, the long-term repercussions are felt more heavily among women who run the risk of infertility due to undiagnosed STDs.

To combat these climbing STD rates, the CDC suggests yearly chlamydia screenings for sexually active women age 25 and under, plus gonorrhea screenings for at-risk women who are sexually active — for example, women with multiple sexual partners, or women who live in areas with high STD rates.

Fight Rising STD Rates With TEST SMARTLY LABS

Worried you may be at risk for STD infection? Combat the inflating STD rates by getting confidential, reliable walk-in STD testing from your local TEST SMARTLY LABS. We offer individual STD testing as well as comprehensive STD panels to detect a variety of diseases.

To lower your risk of STD rates, find the nearest TEST SMARTLY LABS that offers STD testing!

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Why STD Testing is Important for Women

TEST SMARTLY LABS | Why STD Testing is Important for WomenIf you’re a woman who has never contracted an STD, you might wonder why STD testing is important for you. Even if you’ve only slept with a few trusted partners or one person, you can catch an STD without knowing it — even from something so innocent as receiving a kiss on the cheek. Many people are unaware how easy it is to contract an STD, especially from someone who hasn’t completed STD testing and isn’t aware that they have the STD in the first place.

When you consider that more than 110 million Americans have an STD and an estimated 19 million more are infected per year, STD testing doesn’t seem like an unnecessary step. The likelihood that you know someone who currently has an STD constantly rises.

Still, many women think that STDs can’t or won’t happen to them. Wondering why you should consider STD testing? Here’s why.

STD Testing: Why It’s Necessary for Women

Unknowing Carriers

You might think that STD testing isn’t needed because your sexual partner(s) will let you know if they have or have had an STD. But just because someone has an STD doesn’t mean that they know it — only STD testing will reveal the truth. Many STDs have few symptoms or symptoms that are easily confused with other infections, including:

  • GonorrheaGonorrhea symptoms include pain and burning in urination, yellow or bloody discharge, abdominal pain, or heavy menstrual flow. Without STD testing, symptoms of this STD are often confused with bladder infection.
  • Chlamydia: 3/4 of women who have chlamydia exhibit and experience no symptoms, which is why STD testing is vital. Those who do have symptoms may also confuse them with symptoms of a bladder infection — including abnormal discharge from the vaginal, a burning sensation during urination, and spotting between menstruation.
  • Herpes: Symptoms of this STD, including  sores or rashes on your vagina or back, vaginal discharge, headaches, fever, muscle aches, and pain while urinating, may come and go as the years pass. Still, even when you do not exhibit signs of herpes, the virus remains in your nerve cells and can ultimately increase your risk of contracting HIV — which shows why STD testing is so important.
  • HIV: Research has shown that 21% of people in the US who are infected with HIV haven’t undergone STD testing and are thus undiagnosed. HIV symptoms, such as extreme exhaustion, rapid weight loss, fevers, night swears, diarrhea, coughing, and yeast infections, may not appear for years. This means that HIV-positive people could be unknowingly spreading the disease to others.

With STD testing, you will know if you or your sexual partner(s) have contracted any diseases in the past, which will prevent you from further spreading the infection.

Affects of STDs

STD testing does more than prevent the spread of diseases — it can also help you get treatment more quickly, which can prevent your STD from resulting in a very serious health problem. From infertility to cervical cancer to death, there are many long-term medical affects of STDs that can be avoided with simple STD testing. These affects include:

  • Chlamydia: If chlamydia spreads to your uterus or fallopian tubes, it may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. This disease is not easily cured and can permanently damage your fallopian tubes and uterus, leading to infertility, chronic pelvic pain, or even fatal ectopic pregnancy. After a positive diagnosis through STD testing, you can treat your chlamydia and prevent these outcomes.
  • Herpes: If you give birth vaginally when you have unknowingly carried the herpes virus, your baby could suffer blindness. STD testing is key when it comes to identifying and treating herpes.
  • Genital HPV: Some strains of HPV are linked to an increased risk of cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, vaginal cancer, and anal cancer, all of which have the potential to be fatal. When you and your partner receive STD testing, you can seek treatment for HPV if necessary.
  • HIV: When you contract HIV, your immune system weakens and makes you prone to contracting infections. HIV can lead to AIDS, a severe and often fatal autoimmune disorder. STD testing will help diagnose your HIV — and though there is currently no known cure for the disease, you can seek treatment to slow its progression.

These are just a few of the conditions that can result from STDs — there are countless other affects that could be treated or avoided by STD testing.

Get STD Testing Today

Ready to take charge of your health? TEST SMARTLY LABS offers comprehensive STD testing at many of its facilities nationwide. Click here to see if STD testing is available at the ARCpoint location near you.

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STDs in Hiding: Chlamydia

Some STDs are more common than you think. Some STDs have few noticeable symptoms, leaving individuals unaware of any infection. Chlamydia is one such STD that rests “in hiding.”

Continue reading “STDs in Hiding: Chlamydia” »

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Top College STDs

Moving away to college is an exciting experience for many people with new freedoms and meeting different people. Going to clubs and parties can be a new and fun experience when acting responsibly. However, alcohol and other factors can hinder judgment. Sexually transmitted diseases are unfortunately a common problem among college campuses. Understand what the most common STDs are for college students and how to prevent them. Condoms

Most Common College STDs

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is spread through skin-to-skin contact and can lead to genital warts and cervical cancer. Many people are unaware they are infected since symptoms often go unnoticed. Although it is not curable, preventative measures can be taken. Girls are recommended to get a vaccine at age 11 or 12, but please note that it does not protect against all strains of HPV.


This bacterial STD is transmitted through vaginal, oral and anal sex. Chlamydia is treatable and curable with antibiotics, but immediate attention is required to prevent damage to both men and women’s reproductive organs.


Like Chlamydia, there are often no visible symptoms of gonorrhea, so it is important to get tested regularly. Fortunately it is treatable and curable with antibiotics, but the disease must be caught early to prevent pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Genital Herpes

Genital Herpes, or HSV-2, is spread in the same ways as chlamydia, but it is not curable. This disease can cause blisters, redness and sores.


Condom Use

Condoms are 97% effective at preventing STDs, but they must be used properly. If you are sexually active, use them consistently and correctly to reduce your risk of transmitting or receiving an infection or disease. Remember, birth control pills do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.


The only way to be 100% sure you will not get an STD is to be abstinent. Sexually transmitted infections and diseases may be passed through oral sex, anal sex or intercourse. If this is not a probable option, take preventative measures and understand the risks with being sexually active.

If you are sexually active and/or have multiple partners, be sure to get tested regularly for STDs. The sooner you are aware of a problem, the more quickly you’ll be able to treat it. TEST SMARTLY LABS offers STD testing for both men and women. You don’t even need insurance or an appointment, so contact us today to take control of your sexual health.


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Do Womens’ Bodies Protect Them From STDs?

Meet Interferon epsilon (or IFNe).

Women-produce-a-protein-that-protects-them-from-STDsIFNe is a naturally occurring protein in women that protects them from Chlamydia and Herpes Simplex and may protect them from HIV and HPV. This protein was discovered by Dr. Paul Hertzog, Director of the Monash Institute of Medical Research Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases and his team.

When is IFNe produced?

IFNe is produced during a woman’s hormone cycle and Professor Hertzog says that the protein is produced differently than others:

“Most proteins protecting us against infection are produced only after we’re exposed to a virus or bacteria,” Professor Hertzog says. “But this protein is produced normally and is instead regulated by hormones so its levels change during the oestrous cycle (an animal’s menstrual cycle) and is switched off at implantation in pregnancy and at other times like menopause.” (source)

What’s next for IFNe?

Dr. Hertzog’s plan is to future his teams’ research in hopes to use IFNe as a possible cure for STDs. He also wants to see if his research on IFNe can be applied to finding ways to prevent other diseases.

What does this mean if you’re sexually active?

Dr. Hertzog and his team continue to conduct research on IFNe, so don’t get too excited with this knowledge. Sexually transmitted diseases affect 450 million people worldwide and cost the United States nearly $17 billion dollars in treatment each year (source). For women who know their body produces this hormone, this isn’t an invitation to practice unsafe sex.

Keep using safe sex practices and continue to get tested periodically if you’ve had multiple sexual partners. The day may come when IFNe becomes a way to prevent STDs for everyone, but that day is a long way off.

We hope Dr. Hertzog and his team are onto something great that curtails the rapid spread of STDs.


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Trich, Less Well Known STD but Dangerous

Trich isn’t anything new. But you might not be aware of this sexually transmitted disease. It isn’t talked about nearly as much as the others. Its name isn’t as simple as HIV or herpes. But if untreated, it can be very dangerous.

It’s called “Trich”

It’s actually called trichomoniasis. There are 7 to 8 million new cases of trich each year (source), making it one of the most common STDs around. Only 30 percent of those who get this parasite through sex develop symptoms, which include

  • itching
  • burning
  • redness or soreness of the genitals
  • discomfort with urination
  • thin discharge with an unusual smell that can be clear, white, yellowish, or greenish

Dangerous for pregnant women

Pregnant-women-with-Trich-run-the risk-of-low-weight-babies.Women with trich become high risk in the event they get pregnant. Early labor, passing on an STD to the baby before or during labor, pneumonia may all occur. (source). Women with trich may also have babies with low birth weight.

Treatment for Trich

Though it’s dangerous when left untreated, trich is curable with antibiotics. If you’re suffering from trich, speak to doctor about treatment. Symptoms can be prevented. You just need to be proactive.

You may not have heard of it before but…

Though it’s not as commonly known as HIV, herpes, chlamydia or syphilis, trich is very real. If you’re sexually active, you need to get STD tested. There are so many risks you need to be aware of… it’s not worth the risk.

Need an STD testing partner? Our friends at TEST SMARTLY LABS offer affordable, confidential STD testing. Blood or urine tests can determine if you have an STD. Results returned quickly! Find the nearest TEST SMARTLY LABS to you!

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STDs Are Growing Most… Among Seniors.

Senior-citizens-seeing-rise-in-STDsSexually transmitted diseases are on the rise. It’s a troubling thought that might actually make you cringe.

If you assume sexually transmitted diseases are growing most rapidly among high school students and college students… you are wrong.

The group seeing the biggest rise in STDs? Senior citizens.

Consider this…

You probably didn’t know that 80% of people 50 and older are still sexually active. Perhaps that statistic lends itself to this one: Chlamydia and syphilis are tripling among this age group (source).

Why STDs on the rise among seniors?

While I’m sure there are a host of reasons why STDs are on the rise among seniors – here are some reasons that could contribute to our growing problem:

  • People are living longer and divorce is on the rise.
  • Seniors aren’t worrying about pregnancy, so they may avoid using condoms.
  • Older men are the target of erectile dysfunction, medicines can help them & encourage sexual activity.
  • Senior citizens may not have received safe sex education when they were younger.
  • Online dating – which seniors are definitely involved in.

If you were confused as to why your grandmother got a Facebook page, maybe you should be more confused about her profile on Zoosk….

Why are STDs in seniors a problem?

First off, the growth of STDs are a danger to everyone and for senior citizens… they can complicate their health and endanger any sexual partner.

Secondly, this can play into medicare for the senior citizens, an already sensitive subject these days.

How do we change this?

Well – seniors – LISTEN UP:

You are NOT immune to STDs. Sexually Transmitted Diseases are NOT just for young people.

You risk your health when you have unprotected sex. Though pregnancy may not be an issue, you should still be using protection. Simple as that.

Afraid you have an STD already? Find our friends at TEST SMARTLY LABS and walk-in to request the cash-pay test yourself… no need to tell doc about this one quite yet.


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The “STD” date

A friend of mine survived cancer in her twenties and often told stories about the “cancer date.” Apparently some singles on the hunt for “the one” don’t exactly rush into relationships with those who’ve survived a life-threatening disease. My friend had read a few books and websites, and determined the 3rd date was the right time to bring up her past illness. She jokingly coined it the “cancer date.”


When to bring up your STD

Just like my cancer surviving friend, if you have an STD, you might also be wondering about the “right time” to tell that special someone; particularly if there’s no cure (like HIV or herpes) and only medication to manage the symptoms and prevent further transmission. While I’m sure telling your date that you’ve had cancer is no cakewalk, telling them you have an STD could be even scarier. Unlike cancer, by telling someone you have an STD, you could be saying they’ll also have one soon, too.


Disclose your STD based on your comfort level

Opinions will differ when it comes to when and how to disclose your STD. Just like the “past relationships” conversation comes up at different points in each relationship – that’s also the case for discussing an STD. However a few questions to think through as you determine the right time to discuss or mention it:

Is your relationship physical?

Before your relationship gets physical and goes anywhere beyond mouth-to-mouth kissing, you need to discuss your STD. While it’s not a fun conversation, fully disclose that you have an STD before any anal, oral or genital contact takes place.

Does the relationship have long-term potential?

Sometimes you’ll know after the first or second date that this person is NOT the person for you. And if your relationship HAS NOT GOTTEN PHYSICAL, it may be best to NOT bring up your STD. Unfortunately, not everyone will be as understanding and graceful… so if you don’t see yourself with the person long-term AND you’ve not been physically involved, consider holding off on sharing about your STD.

Could this person be a caregiver?

Even if your relationship has not gotten physical, but you’re close enough to where this person would rush to your side in event of emergency – consider disclosing your STD. Some STDs can cause flu-like symptoms, low immunity and more. In the event you need medical treatment or care and you want that special someone there – consider disclosing your STD to them when you’ve hit the point you want them around for the long haul.

Is your STD being treated?

Last, if you’re still in the “getting to know you” phase and you’re currently treating your STD, you may want to hold off on disclosing the STD (if it’s NOT GOTTEN PHYSICAL.) Common STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea may be cured with antibiotics. You’ll want to make sure they’re completely gone after treatment trough follow-up STD testing; however you might not need to bring up your STD “out of the gate” if you are undergoing treatment.



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Nothing’s Super about Super Gonorrhea…

Anyone else catch this article by NY Daily News? Super Gonorrhea? Ut oh…


Nothing super about "super gonorrhea"

It appears that there’s a new strain of “the clap” going around… which leaves no room for applause. This strain of gonorrhea isn’t like the others. Typically gonorrhea is identified by painful urination, abdominal discomfort and some discharge. While not everyone with “the clap” knows they have it – if your symptoms do appear it’s pretty obvious. However with this new strain, many of the symptoms lie dormant – especially the obvious one – painful urination.

Read the full article on “super gonorrhea”

What’s The Big Deal about Gonorrhea?

This new strain of gonorrhea hasn’t yet been found in the U.S. according to the article, but the problem is that it’s been resistant to antibiotics so far. Gonorrhea and chlamydia are two STDs that are generally treatable with medication unlike herpes or HIV, which have no cure. So having a new strain not only causes problems now (it keeps spreading without a way to cure it) – but in the future too (like “normal” gonorrhea, if it goes undetected, fertility and high-risk pregnancies are on the line.)

How to I Prevent Gonorrhea?

As with any STD, the best way to prevent getting one is abstinence. Also, limiting sexual partners will reduce your risk of contracting an STD, especially one like super gonorrhea. If you are engaged in sexual activity, practice safe sex by use of a latex condom. Dental dams for oral intercourse may also eliminate your risk. Conventional birth control will NOT protect against STD contraction. With an STD named “super,” you want to do everything you can to keep this bad boy away.

Do you have gonorrhea?

Find an STD testing center near you.




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“The Clam” Refers to Chlamydia

So far in our journey through STD slang we’ve talked about “The Clap” and “Crabs.” Today we’ll uncover another STD slang term commonly used, “The Clam.” Yep, we’re talking about chlamydia again.


Heard of "The Clam?" Realize it can refer to chlamydia?

What is Chlamydia?

If you need another refresher on this STD, take notes. In addition to “The Clam,” it’s also been called the “Silent” STD. That’s because many times those with chlamydia have no idea they’ve been infected. Symptoms go rogue and leave no indication that anything is wrong … that is until a guy or gal tries to start a family and faces infertility or sterility because of untreated STDs.

Here’s a quick refresher on chlamydia:

  • Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs.
  • Chlamydia is caused by a type of bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis.
  • It can infect the urethra, rectum and eyes in men and women, as well as the cervix in women.
  • Chlamydia is spread via vaginal, anal or oral sex.
  • It can be spread from eye to eye simply by touch, sharing towels or makeup, and by coughing or sneezing.
  • Chlamydia can also be passed to an infant during childbirth.
  • Some symptoms could include:  abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, abdominal pain, pain during sex, fever, pain during urination, or the urge to urinate more frequently.

Treating Chlamydia

If there is a “great” thing about an STD, it’s that the infection is treatable. Luckily, chlamydia CAN be treated by antibiotics. Many times those with chlamydia are also infected with gonorrhea – treatment for both STDs may be performed at the same time. If you’re sexually active (especially with multiple partners or not using a condom), you’re highly encouraged to be tested for chlamydia at least once/year because of its prevalence and detrimental effects if it goes untreated.

Need to be tested for chlamydia?

Sneak in and out of one of our local labs for your STD test.

Find a quick, affordable and accurate STD testing facility near you.


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