STD Diagnosis & Testing
It is important to gain an accurate and reliable diagnosis for any sexually transmitted disease. This is always the first place to start on the journey of healing. Symptoms should not be self diagnosed. If you think you may have an STD, visit your local health care provider or doctor, explain your situation and let them help you move forward.
Laboratory tests for STDs:
Can detect and identify the causes of infections that you might have contracted, even those which are asymptomatic.
- Blood Tests can confirm the diagnosis of HIV or the later stages of syphilis.
- Urine Tests can confirm diagnosis for a number of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Fluid Samples from active sores are used to diagnose the most common bacteria and some viruses that cause STDs.
Screening for STDs:
Is the term used when someone who has no obvious symptoms is tested for the presence of the organisms that cause sexually transmitted diseases.
Since many of these organisms can live in the host for long periods of time without causing symptoms, it is important to be tested if you suspect that you might have been infected by someone. Hidden diseases can cause long term health problems and you can unknowingly infect other contacts.
An important screening test these days is the blood or saliva test for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. This is a fast and easy test for those who have a concern that they may have contracted this disease. Most health care services in the United States can carry out the test and have the results available the same day.
- Pregnant Women are usually screened for HIV, hepatitis B, chlamydia and syphilis at their first prenatal visit. Gonorrhea and hepatitis C screening tests are recommended at least once during pregnancy for women at high risk of these infections.
- Women over 21 should have a Pap test for the presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV), at least every three years. The Pap smear is tested for inflammations, precancerous changes and cancer in the cervix. Younger women who are sexually active should be tested within three years of first intercourse.
- Sexually active women under the age of 25 should consider being screened for chlamydia infection. The chlamydia test uses a sample of urine or vaginal fluid. Repeating the test three months after a positive test and being treated is recommended to confirm that an infection is cured, since reinfection by an untreated or under-treated partner is common. A bout of chlamydia doesn’t provide protection from future exposures. This organism can infect again and again, so get retested if you have a new partner. Screening for gonorrhea is also recommended for sexually active women under age 25.
- Men who have sex with men should be tested regularly for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea, especially if they have multiple partners. Testing for herpes and hepatitis B may also be recommended by your health professional.
- People with HIV/AIDS are at a much greater risk of becoming infected with other STDs. They should be screened for syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and herpes. Women with HIV may develop aggressive cervical cancer, so they should have Pap tests twice a year to screen for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
Where to get a STD Tested done.
There are many places you can request a test to be performed, if you are unsure the best place to begin is with your local doctor. If you live in the US there is over 4000 testing centers available. To find if there is a local facility or where to closest center to you is visit this link.
For a light hearted look at what happens at an STD test, watch this video: