Test for Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) are infections passed from one person to another during sexual activity. STI’s affect your sexual and reproductive organs. STI’s can be painful as well as have long term effects if left untreated. It is important to understand some STI’s may have no symptoms even though they are causing harm, and even infertility if they are not treated in a timely matter. Because many STD’s may not show symptoms in everybody, it also makes them much more likely to spread from person to person.
Getting tested for STI’s is usually quick and easy – it is vital for anyone who is sexually active to be routinely screened for STD’s. Half of all Americans will get an STD as some point in their lives, and most of them will happen before the age of 25. STD’s are much more common than many people think, and no one is immune to getting them.
It is important to remember that many STD’s cause NO SYMTOMS, so it is important to get checked even if you do not have any symptoms. Some general symptoms of STD’s you may have are:
- Painful urination
- Lower abdominal pain
- Vaginal discharge in women
- Pain during sexual intercourse in women
- Physical rash, bumps, or blisters on your genital area or anus
To know for sure, you will need to come in for an STD screening exam. All STDs are different, so depending upon what you are being tested for, your clinician may need a blood or urine sample, just a finger stick, or a genital swab:
- Physical examination- Your physician will examine your genitals and/or anus to check for signs of infections, things like a rash, discharge, sore or warts.
- Blood sample – A small blood sample will be drawn. This will be done by either pricking the skin for drops of blood or actually drawing blood.
- Discharge, cell, tissue or saliva sample – A swab will be used to collect samples that will be viewed under a microscope.
- Urine sample – You may need to urinate into a cup in a private bathroom.
Most screening samples of urine or blood are sent to the laboratory for testing. The results may not be back for 3-10 days. You will be notified of results within 1-2 weeks if treatment is needed, or you may call back for results. Your clinician may start treatment for an STI today, based upon his or her observations. We now offer the rapid HIV test which should give you your results in 15 minutes.
Every STD is different and your clinician can provide you with more detailed information about the STD you have. In general, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis are usually easy to cure with antibiotics. Genital Herpes, Genital Warts, HPV, Hepatitis B and C, and HIV are all viral infections that can be treated but cannot be cured. It is important to refrain from sexual activity that can spread an infection to others while you are being treated.