Wondering what a walk-in medical clinic is used for? Many people want help but do not want to sit in the emergency room. Going to the doctor's office is also not something that can be done if a primary care doctor is already booked for the day or closed for the night. Whatever the reason,…
A Primary Care Physician Answers Commonly Asked Questions About STD Testing
STD testing is one of the most vital things that you can do to protect your health if you are sexually active. You should be prepared to have an honest and open discussion with a doctor about your sexual and testing history. Most insurance providers cover the testing.
Countless STD testing centers provide confidentiality if you feel uncomfortable talking to your regular doctor. Many of these clinics provide low-cost or free testing services. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends sexually active people get tested at least once a year.
Frequently asked questions about STD testing
Many patients are thinking about getting an STD test, so let us go over a few of the questions that they might have.
1. What goes on during STD testing?
STD tests might involve looking for things like syphilis, HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. For patients with no symptoms, STD testing typically involves providing a blood sample, urine sample, or both. Blood samples can be used to test for STIs like syphilis and HIV, while urine samples can be used to test for chlamydia and gonorrhea.
For patients with symptoms, a clinician will evaluate their symptoms and swab symptomatic regions for further testing. They might also be asked to provide urine and/or blood samples. Clinicians can typically diagnose STDs based on a patient’s symptoms and a physical evaluation, but these tests help ensure that their assessment is correct. Appropriate treatment can then be carried out.
2. How long will it take to get results?
Most patients receive the results of their tests within five to 10 days. The clinic notifies patients about the results of any tests ordered, and they might be asked to come in for treatment if the results show that they have an STI.
3. How often should I be tested for STDs?
Anyone sexually active should look to get tested for STDs at least once yearly, even if they are in monogamous relationships. People who have multiple sex partners should get tested before taking on new partners.
If a patient does not get tested before being intimate with a new partner, they should try to get tested about 10 days afterward. That is about the time that it takes for new infections to appear on STD tests.
Anyone who shows symptoms of an STD should get tested immediately. Some STDs share symptoms with other health issues, so the only way to know for sure is to get tested.
4. Do regular STD tests check for herpes?
No, the typical STD test only looks for STIs like syphilis, HIV, and chlamydia. The CDC does not recommend testing patients with no symptoms of herpes. Anyone who thinks that they have been exposed to herpes should inform the clinician, so they can be explicitly tested for it.
5. Can STDs be cured if my tests are positive?
Many STDs, like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, can be cured with antibiotics, but these treatments typically work best in the early stages of the infection. Hepatitis C can be cured with antiviral drugs. Other STDs, like hepatitis B, HIV, and herpes, cannot be cured, but they can be effectively managed with treatment. People with uncurable STDs can still have normal healthy lives with appropriate treatments.
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