ACR Health Expands Testing Options to Find Hard-to-Detect STD's

May 28, 2019

ACR Health Executive Director Wil Murtaugh is joined by Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon, left, and Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, center.
Credit John Smith/WAER News

Case of sexually transmitted disease spiked in the state in recent years, and ACR Health in Syracuse is now expanding testing options to find STD's that might have gone undetected in the past. 


The  organization is now offering three-point testing that can collect cell samples from multiple areas of the body.  Director of Prevention John Arcaro explains a simple self-test in their office can reveal if an STD is present on the skin.

“This is because STD's are bacterial infections, and can be localized not just to the genital region, but to the throat and rectum as well.  These types of infections are not detected with traditional urine screenings, and are asymptomatic 85 percent of the time.  They're often passed on to partners because they’ve gone undetected.” 

In roughly 70 to 88 percent of test results of men who have sex with men, chlamydia and gonorrhea aren’t detected in urine samples.  Executive Director Wil Murtaugh says the new testing will be able to provide better results.

"Traditional sexsually transmitted testing procedures sometimes miss positive infections due to the location site of the infection, that would be more likely to accurately diagnose sexually transmitted infections regardless of where infection exists on the individual.”

Murtaugh emphasizes that it’s important for people to know their status.  ACR tests for HIV, hepatitis C, gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis.

You can come to us any day of the week, get tested.  We also have night testing on Tuesday's, find out if there's anything in your body that you shouldn't have there, and we'll help you navigate you toward a treatment.” 

ACR’s “Paint the Town Red” awareness campaign leads up to this weekend’s AIDS Walk and Run Sunday at Beaver Lake Nature Center.  More on that and their services is at ACR Health.org.