Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have long been taboo subjects. Yet with more openness about sexual health, fortunately, this stigma has largely fallen away. That’s good news because most STDs are curable. Even the few that aren’t can be managed with appropriate treatment.
If you don’t have health insurance, you may be anxious about the costs of your STD treatment. But with the right information, you can get the help you need no matter your circumstances. This is vital, as fast and effective treatment is the key to managing STDs.
In this guide, we have examined the costs of the most common STD treatments and other vital information for screening and testing.
The Cost Of STD Treatments
Let’s start by taking a look at the costs you can expect for treatment for the most common STDs without health insurance.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection, common in the 18-35 years age group. It’s caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This STD often affects the urethra, rectum, or throat. The infection can last for a few days or even a few weeks but may be prevented with a vaccine.
Commonly reported symptoms include a burning sensation during urination, vaginal and penile discharges, pelvic pain in women, and testicular pain in men. However, symptoms are sometimes not present or are too vague to make an accurate diagnosis without lab testing and imaging.
How Much Does Gonorrhea Treatment Cost Without Insurance?
Three treatment options are commonly used to combat gonorrhea, with very different costs:
- Ceftriaxone, which can cost anywhere from $4.59-$48.48, is one of these drugs. It’s a broad-spectrum antibiotic that doctors use to treat a variety of bacterial infections in adults.
- Then there’s Cefixime, a semisynthetic, cephalosporin antibacterial drug that can also be used to treat numerous bacterial infections. The cost without insurance will come to anything from just over $17 to close to $39.
- Gentamicin treatment plus Azithromycin (both antibiotics, but different types) will cost you from approximately $9.45 to a little over $24 for the Gentamicin and between $4.80 and $32 for the Azithromycin without insurance.
Chlamydia is a very common STD which, fortunately, is easy to treat with antibiotics. One strong dose of an oral antibiotic is usually sufficient to treat it.
How Much Is Chlamydia Treatment Without Insurance?
There’s a big difference in price between the preferred brand name treatment, and the generic alternative.
Expect to pay about $50 for a dose of Zithromax or up to $30 for the generic antibiotic, Azithromycin.
HIV attacks the cells that help your body to fight off infection. That’s why HIV can be so deadly if undiagnosed and untreated. It opens the door to other infections, leaving the body vulnerable and defenseless.
HIV, unlike these other common STDs, is not a bacterial infection, and at this time there is no cure. It can, however, be managed with antiretroviral drugs. This will reduce the risk of falling prey to secondary infections that take advantage of your compromised immune system.
How Much Does HIV Treatment Cost Without Insurance?
HIV treatment consists of antiretroviral drugs, and there are several on the market. These will cost you anywhere from $400 for a 30-tablet supply of Epivir to more than $2000 for a 30-tablet supply of Descovy.
A shot of a drug called Trogarzo can be administered instead of oral medications, but this can set you back up to $900 a month if you don’t have insurance.
STD Screening And Testing Costs
Of course, the costs of the treatments themselves are not the only expenses you’ll incur. You can’t self-diagnose an STD. What’s more, some don’t have very obvious symptoms at first. That means you’ll need a test to determine if you have a sexually-transmitted infection.
Like the treatments prescribed, tests cost more if you don’t have health insurance. They can cost from about $100 for individual tests to $600 for a full STD panel of tests.
The price ultimately depends on the type of test and where you have it done. If you are unsure what STD you may have contracted, full panel testing is recommended. If, however, a partner has informed you of a specific STD diagnosis, you may ask your doctor for a test for that particular STD.
Discount Programs For STD Treatment
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. If you don’t have Medicare or insurance with prescription drugs and struggle to afford treatment, you may qualify for a discount program.
There are several of these programs throughout the US, but the following three are the most popular options for STD tests and testament without insurance.
Some state-run clinics have sliding fee scales based on your income and affordability. For information on your nearest clinic with this service, contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Center For Disease Control (CDC) has initiatives to give people access to essential medical tests. One of these is the GetTested program, which offers condoms, preventive care, and free STD tests. All tests are carried out quickly and confidentially.
You can access low-cost and sometimes even free STD testing at Planned Parenthood centers. The costs are calculated based on income, employment, and insurance status.
When To Get Tested
If you suspect that you may have contracted a sexually transmitted disease, you must get tested as soon as possible. Some STDs can have serious consequences if undiagnosed and untreated.
Untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea can both lead to complications like an infection and inflammation of the testicles, called epididymitis, in men and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women. PID has been linked to a raised risk of fallopian tube blockage and ectopic pregnancies.
Untreated STDs can also increase the risk of contracting HIV. And untreated HIV is even more serious, as it can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS. Although HIV is incurable, antiretroviral therapy enables sufferers to continue to lead productive lives.
Unfortunately, the prices differ widely depending on where you get tested for STDs.
Where To Get Tested
To get tested for STDs, you can go to any one of the following:
- Your doctor’s office
- Community healthcare clinics
- Sexual wellness centers
- Urgent care centers
Alternatively, you may use an at-home test, available from one of the major pharmacy chains like Walgreens or CVS. The problem with using a DIY test, though, is that you’ll need to know what exactly you’re testing for. Also, most health insurance plans don’t cover at-home STD tests.
Regardless of which option you choose, remember that your location can heavily influence the price you’ll pay for STD screening and tests.
Despite several avenues of low-cost testing, STD treatments can be expensive if you don’t meet their criteria. And your location may put you at a further disadvantage. This is why it makes sense to get health insurance.
If you fear that your employment status or income is a barrier, rest assured, Enhance Health will help you to find the perfect health plan for your needs, no matter what you can afford.