The Marion County Health Department offers testing for
Gonorrhea, Chlamydia,
Syphilis and HIV.  Clients must
meet Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) screening
criteria for the Gonorrhea and Chlamydia testing. A fee of
$20 covers the test for all four STD's.

The testing will be done by appointment only. If the patient
reports signs and symptoms of a STD or if they have a
positive test result, the patient will be referred to a local
medical facility for treatment. The office visit fee will be
based on a sliding scale according to income and family
STD Testing
for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis and HIV
FEMALE patients must meet one or more of the following criteria:
  • Age 25 or younger and sexually active or pregnant
  • Age 26 or older with one or more of the following risks:
  • STD Signs or Symptoms
    - vaginal discharge
    - mucopurulent cervicitis
    - pelvic pain or suspected pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Sex partner of individual diagnosed with Chlamydia and/or Gonorrhea
  • Sex partner risk
    - new sex partner in past 3 months
    - more than 1 sex partner in past 3 months
  • STD Diagnoses/history in past 3 years
  • Pregnant (and one or more of the above risks)
  • IUD Insertion
  • Re-screen females infected with chlamydia and/or gonorrhea three months after treatment to detect
What is the screening criteria?
Sexually transmitted
diseases (STDs) are
among the most
common infectious
diseases in the
United States today,
affecting more than
9 million men and
women annually.

What is it?
Gonorrhea is a sexually
transmitted disease
(STD). Gonorrhea is
caused by Neisseria
gonorrhoeae, a
bacterium that can grow
and multiply easily in the
warm, moist areas of the
reproductive tract,
including the cervix
(opening to the womb),
uterus (womb), and
fallopian tubes (egg
canals) in women, and in
the urethra (urine canal)
in women and men. The
bacterium can also grow
in the mouth, throat,
eyes, and anus.
Chlamydia is a common
sexually transmitted
disease (STD) caused by
the bacterium,
Chlamydia trachomatis,
which can damage a
woman’s reproductive
organs. Even though
symptoms of chlamydia
are usually mild or absent,
serious complications that
cause irreversible
damage, including
infertility, can occur
“silently” before a woman
ever recognizes a
problem. Chlamydia also
can cause discharge from
the penis of an infected
HIV Stands for human
immunodeficiency virus.  It
is the virus that can lead to
syndrome, or AIDS.  Unlike
some other viruses, the
human body cannot get rid
of HIV.  That means that
once you have HIV, you
have it for life.  HIV affects
specific cells of the
immune system, called
CD4 cells, or T cells.  Over
time, HIV can destroy so
many of theses cells that
the body can't fight off
infections and disease.  
When this happens, HIV
infection leads to AIDS.
Syphilis is a sexually
transmitted disease (STD)
caused by the bacterium
Treponema pallidum. It
has often been called
“the great imitator”
because so many of the
signs and symptoms are
indistinguishable from
those of other diseases.

How is it
Gonorrhea is spread
through contact with the
penis, vagina, mouth, or
anus. Ejaculation does
not have to occur for
gonorrhea to be
transmitted or acquired.
Gonorrhea can also be
spread from mother to
baby during delivery.

People who have had
gonorrhea and received
treatment may get
infected again if they
have sexual contact with
a person infected with
Chlamydia can be
transmitted during vaginal,
anal, or oral sex.
Chlamydia can also be
passed from an infected
mother to her baby during
vaginal childbirth.
Any sexually active person
can be infected with
chlamydia. The greater
the number of sex
partners, the greater the
risk of infection. Because
the cervix (opening to the
of teenage girls and young
women is not fully matured
and is probably more
susceptible to infection,
they are at particularly
high risk for infection if
sexually active. Since
chlamydia can be
transmitted by oral or anal
sex, men who have sex
with men are also at risk
for chlamydial infection.
HIV is spread mainly by
having sex with someone
who has HIV.  In general:  
Anal sex is the highest-risk
sexual behavior.  Vaginal
sex is the second
highest-risk sexual
behavior.  Multiple sex
partners or having other
sexually transmitted
infections can increase the
risk of infection through
sex.  Sharing needles,
syringes, rinse water, or
other equipment (works)
used to prepare injection
drugs with someone who
has HIV.
Syphilis is passed from
person to person through
direct contact with a
syphilis sore. Sores occur
mainly on the external
genitals, vagina, anus, or
in the rectum. Sores also
can occur on the lips and
in the mouth.
Transmission of the
organism occurs during
vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Pregnant women with the
disease can pass it to the
babies they are carrying.
Syphilis cannot be spread
through contact with
toilet seats, doorknobs,
swimming pools, hot tubs,
bathtubs, shared clothing,
or eating utensils.

How is it
Several laboratory tests
are available to diagnose
gonorrhea. A doctor or
nurse can obtain a
sample for testing from
the parts of the body
likely to be infected
(cervix, urethra, rectum,
or throat) and send the
sample to a laboratory for
analysis. Gonorrhea that
is present in the cervix or
urethra can be diagnosed
in a laboratory by testing
a urine sample. A quick
laboratory test for
gonorrhea that can be
done in some clinics or
doctor’s offices is a Gram
stain. A Gram stain of a
sample from a urethra or
a cervix allows the doctor
to see the gonorrhea
bacterium under a
microscope. This test
works better for men than
for women.
There are laboratory tests
to diagnose chlamydia.
Some can be performed
on urine, other tests
require that a specimen
be collected from a site
such as the penis or cervix.
Getting an HIV test is the
only way to know if you
have HIV.  The Illinois
Department of Public
Health State lab uses a HIV
test that can detect both
antibodies and antigen
(part of the virus itself).
These tests can find recent
infection earlier than tests
that detect only
antibodies.  These
combination tests can find
HIV as soon as 3 weeks
after exposure to the virus,
but they are only available
for testing blood, not oral
Some health care
providers can diagnose
syphilis by examining
material from a chancre
(infectious sore) using a
special microscope
called a dark-field
microscope. If syphilis
are present in the sore,
they will show up when
observed through the

A blood test is another
way to determine whether
someone has syphilis.
Shortly after infection
occurs, the body
produces syphilis
antibodies that can be
detected by an accurate,
safe, and inexpensive
blood test. A low level of
antibodies will likely stay
in the blood for months or
years even after the
disease has been
successfully treated.
Because untreated
syphilis in a pregnant
woman can infect and
possibly kill her
developing baby, every
pregnant woman should
have a blood test for

How is it
Several antibiotics can
successfully cure
gonorrhea in adolescents
and adults. However,
drug-resistant strains of
gonorrhea are increasing
in many areas of the
world, including the
United States, and
successful treatment of
gonorrhea is becoming
more difficult. Because
many people with
gonorrhea also have
chlamydia, another STD,
antibiotics for both
infections are usually
given together. Persons
with gonorrhea should be
tested for other STDs.
Chlamydia can be easily
treated and cured with
antibiotics. A single dose
of azithromycin or a week
of doxycycline (twice
daily) are the most
commonly used
treatments. HIV-positive
persons with chlamydia
should receive the same
treatment as those who are
HIV negative.
All sex partners should be
evaluated, tested, and

Persons with chlamydia
should abstain from sexual
intercourse until they and
their sex partners have
completed treatment,
otherwise re-infection is

Women whose sex partners
have not been
appropriately treated are
at high risk for re-infection.
Having multiple infections
increases a woman’s risk of
serious reproductive
health complications,
including infertility.
Retesting should be
encouraged for women
three to four months after
treatment. This is
especially true if a woman
does not know if her sex
partner received treatment.
No safe and effective cure
currently exists.  
Antiretroviral therapy
(ART), however, can
dramatically prolong the
lives of many people
infected with HIV and
lower their chance of
infecting others.  It is
important that people get
tested for HIV and know
that they are infected early
so that medical care and
treatment have the greatest
Syphilis is easy to cure in
its early stages. A single
intramuscular injection of
penicillin, an antibiotic,
will cure a person who
has had syphilis for less
than a year. Additional
doses are needed to treat
someone who has had
syphilis for longer than a
year. For people who are
allergic to penicillin,
other antibiotics are
available to treat syphilis.
There are no home
remedies or
over-the-counter drugs
that will cure syphilis.
Treatment will kill the
syphilis bacterium and
prevent further damage,
but it will not repair
damage already done.

Because effective
treatment is available, it
is important that persons
be screened for syphilis
on an on-going basis if
their sexual behaviors put
them at risk for STDs.
Persons who receive
syphilis treatment must
abstain from sexual
contact with new partners
until the syphilis sores are
completely healed.
Persons with syphilis must
notify their sex partners so
that they also can be
tested and receive
treatment if necessary.
         STD Facts
MALE patients must meet one or more of the following criteria:
  • Age 25 or younger and sexually active
  • Age 26 or older with one or more of the following risks:
  • STD Signs or Symptoms
    - urethral discharge
    - dysuria
  • Sex partner of individual diagnosed with Chlamydia and/or Gonorrhea
  • Re-screen males infected with chlamydia and/or gonorrhea three months after treatment to detect re-