Sexual & Reproductive Health

Get It* On NOLA (*Get Tested & Protected Against Syphilis)

Syphilis is on the rise in New Orleans and Louisiana, especially among young and pregnant people. According to CDC data, Louisiana ranks 9th in the country for syphilis and 7th in congenital syphilis. Since 2019, Orleans Parish has experienced a 79% increase in the number of cases of primary and secondary syphilis--the most infectious stages of the disease. The bad news: without treatment, syphilis can cause serious health problems, including nerve damage and blindness. The good news: syphilis is preventable and curable in its early stages.

In response to high syphilis rates, the New Orleans Health Department has launched Get It* On NOLA, a sexual health education campaign designed to equip residents with the facts, connect them to resources, and address stigma. CDC recommends getting tested for syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and Hepatitis C at least once a year. Quick, free and low-cost syphilis and STI testing is available throughout New Orleans. As part of the Get It* On NOLA campaign, NOHD has launched the STI Testing Map to make it easier for residents to find convenient, low-cost syphilis and other STI testing locations. Check it out by clicking the button below!

Find STI Testing in New Orleans

STI Testing in New Orleans PDF Version

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): The Facts

  • Get tested. It is the only way to know for sure if you have an STI.
  • Many STIs don't cause any symptoms, so you could have one and not know. If you are having sex, getting tested is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health.
  • Minors aged 13-years-old and older are able to access STI testing at some locations without a parent or guardian present.
  • When compared nationally, Louisiana has some of the country's highest rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV.
  • STIs can be transmitted through oral, vaginal and anal sex. They also can be transmitted during childbirth or by sharing needles of any kind.
  • If you suspect that you might have an STI, it is best to stop having sex until you can get tested, and if needed, treated.
  • You also should know that all STIs, even HIV, are treatable, and most are curable.
  • If you or your partner has an STI, both of you need to start treatment immediately. Getting treated right away can help avoid health problems down the road.
  • Make sure to fill your prescriptions and take your medication as prescribed. That also means you shouldn't share your prescription with your partner.
  • STIs can be prevented through abstinence, barrier methods (i.e., dental dams, condoms, etc.), routine STI testing, and the use of PrEP. 

STI Testing

  • STI testing is quick, easy, and typically painless.
  • STI testing can be free or low-cost depending on testing location. Medicaid and private insurance also cover STI testing at many locations.
  • Some sites use rapid tests which will provide results within 20 minutes. If rapid tests are not used, results will be available in 2-10 days.
  • Depending on the type of STI test, a health care provider will collect a sample of the following: blood, genital fluid, urine or saliva.
  • Some STI testing locations may also conduct a physical examination.
  • Depending on the STI testing site same day treatment may be available.
  • If an individual tests positive for an STI, a health care provider will share treatment options and can provide additional resources.

Helpful questions to ask before/during an STI testing appointment

  • Do I need to make an appointment?
  • Which STIs is your site able to test for? (chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, herpes, hepatitis C, HIV, HPV)
  • Do you accept Medicaid?
  • Are testing services free or offered on a sliding-scale or low-cost options?
  • Which insurance do you accept?
  • Do I need to be accompanied by a parent or caregiver if I’m a minor?
  • Will my appointment and results be kept confidential?
  • How long will the appointment take?
  • When will my results be available? How will I be notified?
  • Should I refrain from sex (oral, vaginal, anal) before receiving my results?
  • Will my partner(s) need to be tested? How can I tell them?

Questions a health care provider may ask during an STI testing appointment

While these questions may seem quite personal, they help ensure that the individual receives the right tests and medical support.

  • What brings you in today?
  • Are you experiencing any symptoms? If so, how long have you had symptoms?
  • Are you sexually active with men, women, or both?
  • Do you have oral, vaginal, or anal sex?
  • Do you have one sexual partner or multiple sexual partners?
  • Have you ever had sex with someone who has injected drugs?
  • How do you protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections?
  • Are you or your partner trying to get pregnant?
  • Are you or your partner using contraception/birth control? Do you need any information about options?
  • Have you ever been forced or coerced to have sex against your will?
  • Have you or a partner ever tested positive for a sexually transmitted infection? If yes, which infections?
  • In the last year, how many sexual partners have you had?

Additional Resources